Required Reading – The Bay of Pigs & Operation J/M-Wave – Part 1

The Bay of Pigs & Operation J/M-Wave        

Inside the CIA’s Miami Training Camps by Jorge Varona (1977)

Bay of Pigs - Captured Agents

Bay of Pigs – Captured Agents

All four of the former agents I talked to had joined the CIA either before or during the Bay of Pigs training period. Two were in the invasion; and two were in the Cuban underground. One of them said: “I don’t know when they will need me again”.

When Cuban exiles began arriving in the United States in 1959 many thought the best way to go back to their country was a war in which a powerful ally was needed. The ally was there in the form of a sympathetic United States government which sponsored the ill-fated Bay of Pigs invasion – an invasion which had an end result, the consolidation of the government of Prime Minister Fidel Castro.

Cubans in general have had a dichotomous attitude toward the United States: traditionally Cubans have distrusted the “Colossus of the North” while expressing great admiration for American political stability and know-how. The failure of the Bay of Pigs invasion was easily blamed by many on the inexperience and ‘lack of guts’ of the late President John F. Kennedy; the disgruntled exiles, however, kept alive their hopes of getting control of their homeland by joining up with an arm of the government which was sympathetic and powerful: The Central Intelligence Agency.

Not all Cubans who fought against Castro were CIA followers, but those days in the camps in Guatemala had seen strong friends grow between the trainees and the CIA instructors. When the invaders came back, many gravitated to the US Army and others stayed close to the intelligence community in the Miami Area.

Carlos Prio Socarras

Carlos Prio Socarras

CIA recruitment of operatives and agents began even before Cuban dictator Fulgencio Batista was overthrown. Watergate burglar Frank Sturgis has admitted he was recruited to work for the CIA while he was ferrying weapons to Cuban rebels under the direction of former Cuban president Carlos Prio Socarras. The CIA maintained a large network of operatives on the island nation up to the 1961 U.S. sponsored invasion, when most of them were arrested and neutralized by the Cuban secret police (known as G-2). Those agents who were not caught had to go into hiding, and were, for the most part, neutralized.  Only a small hardy group survived and still may be working today.

But it is the Miami based CIA groups, the ones functioning in Miami that grew and were used by American intelligence to form an intelligence network which extended through Latin America and Europe in the 1960’s and 1970’s. Following the Bay of Pigs invasion, the CIA began a recruitment drive in Miami among Cuban exiles and trained many of them in the commando raid tactics which were used in the 18-month period between the invasion and the October 1962 missile crisis.


Following the crisis, CIA Cuba activities became more covert, since the ‘understanding’ reached by American President John F. Kennedy and Soviet Premier Nikita Khrushchev precluded any direct invasion of Cuba. To gather the information in this article; four former CIA agents were interviewed; two of these were Principal Agents who acted under direct orders from the CIA. CIA headquarters were located at the J/M-WAVE, a number of offices buildings and warehouses located at the University of Miami’s south campus. J/M-WAVE operated under the guise of Zenith Technological Services, an electronics firm which was supposed to have been engaged in doing weapons research for the Department of Defense. Even though The Company has denied it, Sturgis confirmed he was involved in assassination plots against Castro and other Latin leaders, many of these operations were hatched from J/M-WAVE.

All agents interviewed had first come in contact with the CIA either before or during the Bay of Pigs training period. Two participated in the invasion and two were members of the Cuban underground. They will be known only by their first names since they do not wish to compromise their lives. One of them said “I do not know when they will need me again”.William R. Amlong described the CIA Miami operation in the March 9, 1975 Miami Herald as “the largest anywhere in the world outside of the Langley Headquarters in Virginia”. During the height of the CIA Cuban operation over 400 officers of the CIA connected with propaganda, paramilitary and infiltration operations worked out of there. At this headquarters, the activities of more than 1,500 Cuban Exile operatives were coordinated. These operatives according to ‘Rolando’, one of the agents, operated freely in Miami, Venezuela, Colombia, Chile, Spain, France, West Germany and Italy.


With the conclusion of the missile crisis and the return of the Bay of Pigs invaders to American soil, the CIA operation began to enter the infiltration and harassment of Cuba phase in which small teams went to Cuba to deliver radios, explosives, and weapons to underground elements. This was the apogee of the Cuban operation, which lasted with official sanction until early 1965, when Lyndon Johnson brought his own political clout to the White House.

The recruitment of Cuban Exiles was described by the agents as follows: Immigration and Naturalization Service authorities screening exiles would tip off the CIA as to whom they though could be an effective agent. Local exiles already working for the CIA would in turn go to visit them and invite the new arrivals to visit one of the many safe-houses that “La Compania” had in Miami. One of these was the Old Revolutionary Council house just north of downtown Miami. The CIA tried to recruit farmers and fisherman who knew the coast and who could help the infiltration teams get into Cuba without being seen. Training began with classes in Miami, where the recruits began learning about tactics and weapons. These classes were usually held at the house of the Principal Agents. Most of the time the CIA tried to have the Cuban PA’s very visible in from of the Cuban recruits in order to gain their confidence.

Those recruits who would actually become agents and not just operatives would be sent up for further training at Eglin Air Force Base in Pensacola, Florida (where, perhaps not coincidentally, the Watergate burglars would be imprisoned in 1974). Some of the training in guerilla warfare took place in the Okeefenokee Swamp in the Florida panhandle and southern Georgia. The recruits stayed for one month at this base. From here the recruits went to several bases near the CIA headquarters in Virginia, where they received further training in commando tactics, raids and weapons. Training at these bases lasted for a month.

J/M-Wave, Florida

J/M-Wave, Florida

According to ‘Roland’: “From here we were taken in closed planes to another base. We did not know where this base is. There we took training in explosives and demolition”. This type of training was held regularly until at least 1968.

At least two of the agents confirmed about 300 men received training in demolitions. The training varied while some were taught demolition on dry land, others learned all about underwater charges. This phase of operation ceased in large scale right after Lyndon Johnson took over in 1965. The 1965-1968 period saw an increase in the infiltrations for the purpose of gathering intelligence and rescuing agents inside Cuba. It is also believed that in this period some more of the assassination plots against Castro were hatched in Miami. While official U.S. policy at the time was one of ‘hands off’ Cuba, local authorities often looked the other way when Cuban Exiles, especially CIA agents or operatives, were caught breaking the neutrality laws.

“I remember when we caught one of these guys who had a lot of explosives and weapons in his house” said a former Dade County policeman who is now self-employed. “The Feds came in and took everything we had, saying that they were going to draw up federal charges against this man. They took everything, the weapons, the explosives, everything. We told them that we needed something so that we could bring our own charges against the man (who was active in anti-Castro activities) and federal agents left the State Attorney a case of hand grenades. Well, as it turned out, there was no regulation in Dade or Miami covering possession of hand grenades, so we had to let him go.”

Since Cuba could not be the object of a massive CIA operation, the Cia began using the recruited exiles to check on pro-Castro activity in Europe and Latin America. Already well known is the manhunt of Ernesto ‘Che’ Guevara in Bolivia, in which at least 2 of the agents interviewed participated in minor roles. Exiles also participated in the covert propaganda work in Chile which helped to defeat Salvador Allende in 1964.

Salvadore Allende

Salvadore Allende

The CIA operation in Miami was divided into ubiquitous cells. Normally, one cell did not know what the other was doing, in case one of the groups was caught in Cuba. There was also another reason for this: usually members of one cell were political enemies of another cell. There were cells of people connected with former President Prio, other cells consisted of former allies of Batista, and other cells were comprised of former members of Castro’s revolutionary army. Men who would normally not be able to work together because of irreconcilable political conflicts worked this way together. This way, with Machiavellian precision, the CIA did for exiles what they could never do: band together to fight Castro.

The same political division was used by the CIA to keep any of the groups from reaching a position of relative strength. A good example of this was the campaign of vituperation against Manolo Ray, a liberal center-left former Castro minister who headed a powerful and popular exile group. Ray was accused of being a ‘Fidelista sin Fidel’ or one who liked the revolution but hated Castro, and his campaign lost much influence over the affair.



The CIA usually kept informants as members of most groups and managed to control even the most fanatical nationalists. As the anti-Castro activity began to be more closely controlled with the election of Richard Nixon in 1968, the CIA kept on its payroll a ‘secret police’ in Miami, which numbered anywhere from 200 to 300 Cuban Exiles. Men like Watergate burglar Eugenio Rolando ‘Muscalito’ Martinez belonged to this group. The CIA and some of the agents claim the group was officially disbanded in 1972, though most of the men remained on retainer as ‘consultants’. Martinez was still collecting $100-a-month from the CIA when he was caught in the Democratic National Headquarters. Members of this group trained at the J/M-WAVE facility. Others took training courses at the ‘School of the Americas’ in Fort Gulick at the Panama Canal Zone.

In Miami the cloak-and-dagger activities of the CIA quickly became mixed up in the narcotics traffic since many of the operatives were dealing heroin and marijuana. These dealers had what amounted to official protection because of the work they did. Part of the official protection the CIA had in Miami extended to the Miami Police Departments and also to the Dade County Sheriff’s office. Former Miami Police Chief Bernard Garmire provided some of the official protection the CIA operatives needed. This extended to having the CIA operatives keep a close eye on independent Anti-Castro groups; they usually busted their members when it appeared they were about to execute freelance raids on Cuba. During the 1972 Republican and Democratic National Conventions in Miami Beach, CIA operatives infiltrated most anti-Castro groups and often set them off against each other or against left-wing groups protesting the convention.

The CIA also sponsored front companies which served as support for the Company. An example of this is the Hialeah Egg Factory in which many of these operatives worked, among them Jose Antonio Prat, who mysteriously ‘killed himself’ in Miami in early February of 1976. One of the front men of the factory is a retired CIA agent known as Richard ‘El Americano’ who spent 12 years in Castro’s dungeons for espionage.

Up to 60 of these front companies grew around Miami; often they had names similar to real companies and would even sell similar products. Unsuspecting calls to them would invariably bring excuses about ‘not having the material available’. The receptionists would lie about the whereabouts of salesmen and even to credit ex-employees confirming former employment and salaries. Many of these corporations were not officially registered with the state of Florida but were seldom ever prosecuted or brought to the public’s attention.

The same is true of a number of used car lots which opened up in Miami and were run by some of the Cuban Exiles in the 1960s. U.S. Representative William Lehman, a used car dealer in North Miami, told the Rockefellar Commission that he believed there was some unfair competition from the CIA because their dealerships undersold the market. Cuban Exiles who normally worked other jobs preferred to work this way and were paid directly, to seldom sell a few cars while plotting Anti-Castro activities in air conditioned offices.

Cuban Exiles in Miami

Cuban Exiles in Miami

Although the CIA activities slowed down in 1972, along with the agents claim that recruitment has stopped altogether, a legacy has remained in Miami. The trainees did not quite stop working after the CIA cooled them down. Many set up their own training schools and as late as 1973, they kept training other exiles in the use of weapons and explosives. A paramilitary Parachute Club, the ‘Golden Falcons’ was the place where Humberto Lopez Jr., the convicted terrorist and Rolando Otero Hernandez, another terrorist now in Chile, first joined together and learned about bomb making under the CIA.

At a small office near SW I Street on 22 Avenue, CIA operatives trained in explosives and booby traps by the special forces taught young Cubans how to handle most weapons in the American military as well as Russian and Eastern European weapons. Training in booby-traps and grenades were held under the direction of Conrado Rodriguez. Usually the classes were well illustrated with weapons and taught by four expert marksmen. Even though many agents have claimed to stop these activities, men like Max Gorman Gonzalez are still reluctant to speak with reporters, afraid of compromising their business relationship with the CIA. It is interesting to note that while Frank Sturgis claims to have stopped the CIA activities, he was seen training the Exiles on how to recruit among their own for forces in Angola.

“When Bernard Barker, one of the Miami Watergate burglars, entered federal prison, he encountered an old Bay of Pigs comrade jailed for violating US neutrality laws in a freelance raid against Cuba. Chico, as he was nicknamed complained that America wasn’t what it used to be…”

In Hialeah, the Egg Factory is still working and the Power Chemical and Paper Corporation still operates with salesmen doubling as agents. At 1800 NW River Drive, CIA operatives are still recruiting forces to fight in Angola as early as the Spring of 1976.

A man crosses the Central Intelligence A

The Green Chazzan

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Required Reading – The Merchants of Death

EDITOR: This excerpt details the history of the Bush family and how they rose to prominence within the American upper class during World War I and World War II. Senator Prescott Bush, a notorious anti-Roosevelt Republican and convicted traitor in World War II, would set the stage for his son, George HW Bush to one day emerge as leader of the Consortium and President of the United States.

The Merchants of Death

Excerpts from ‘George Bush’ by Dr. Webster Tarpley (1992)

Prescott Goes to War

Prescott Bush

Prescott Bush


President George Herbert Walker Bush was born in 1924, the son of Prescott S. Bush and Dorothy Walker Bush. We will begin the George Bush story about a decade before his birth, on the eve of World War I. We will follow the career of his father, Prescott Bush, through his marriage with Dorothy Walker, on the path to fortune, elegance and power.

Prescott Bush entered Yale University in 1913. A native of Columbus, Ohio, Prescott had spent the last five years before college in St. George’s Episcopal preparatory school in Newport, Rhode Island.Prescott Bush’s first college year, 1913, was also the freshman year at Yale for E. Roland ( “Bunny” ) Harriman, whose older brother (Wm.) Averell Harriman had just graduated from Yale. This is the Averell Harriman who went on to fame as the U.S. ambassador to the Soviet Union during World War II, as a governor of New York State, and as a presidential advisor who was greatly responsible for starting the Vietnam War.

The Harrimans would become the sponsors of the Bushes, to lift them onto the stage of world history. In the spring of 1916, Prescott Bush and “Bunny” Harriman were chosen for membership in an elite Yale senior-year secret society known as Skull and Bones. This unusually morbid, death-celebrating group helped Wall Street financiers find active young men of “good birth” to form a kind of imitation British aristocracy in America.

Averall Harriman

Averall Harriman

World War I was then raging in Europe. With the prospect that the U.S.A. would soon join the war, two Skull and Bones “Patriarchs” , Averell Harriman (class of 1913) and Percy A. Rockefeller (class of 1900), paid special attention to Prescott’s class of 1917. They wanted reliable cadres to help them play the Great Game, in the lucrative new imperial era that the war was opening up for London and New York moneycrats. Prescott Bush, by then a close friend of “Bunny” Harriman, and several other Bonesmen from their class of 1917 would later comprise the core partners in Brown Brothers Harriman, the world’s largest private investment bank. World War I did make an immense amount of money for the clan of stock speculators and British bankers who had just taken over U.S. industry. The Harrimans were stars of this new Anglo-American elite.

Averell’s father, stock broker E.H. Harriman, had gained control of the Union Pacific Railroad in 1898 with credit arranged by William Rockefeller, Percy’s father, and by Kuhn Loeb & Co.’s British-affiliated private bankers, Otto Kahn, Jacob Schiff and Felix Warburg. William Rockefeller, treasurer of Standard Oil and brother of Standard founder John D. Rockefeller, owned National City Bank (later “Citibank” ) together with Texas-based James Stillman. In return for their backing, E.H. Harriman deposited in City Bank the vast receipts from his railroad lines. When he issued tens of millions of dollars of “watered” (fraudulent) railroad stock, Harriman sold most of the shares through the Kuhn Loeb company.

The First World War elevated Prescott Bush and his father, Samuel P. Bush, into the lower ranks of the Eastern Establishment. As war loomed in 1914, National City Bank began reorganizing the U.S. arms industry. Percy A. Rockefeller took direct control of the Remington Arms company, appointing his own man, Samuel F. Pryor, as the new chief executive of Remington. The U.S entered World War I in 1917. In the spring of 1918, Prescott’s father, Samuel P. Bush, became chief of the Ordnance, Small Arms and Ammunition Section of the War Industries Board. The senior Bush took national responsibility for government assistance to and relations with Remington and other weapons companies.

Bernard Baruch

Bernard Baruch

This was an unusual appointment, as Prescott’s father seemed to have no background in munitions. Samuel Bush had been president of the Buckeye Steel Castings Co. in Columbus, Ohio, makers of railcar parts. His entire career had been in the railroad business– supplying equipment to the Wall Street-owned railroad systems. The War Industries Board was run by Bernard Baruch, a Wall Street speculator with close personal and business ties to old E.H. Harriman. Baruch’s brokerage firm had handled Harriman speculations of all kinds.

In 1918, Samuel Bush became director of the Facilities Division of the War Industries Board. Prescott’s father reported to the Board’s Chairman, Bernard Baruch, and to Baruch’s assistant, Wall Street private banker Clarence Dillon. Robert S. Lovett, President of Union Pacific Railroad, chief counsel to E.H. Harriman and executor of his will, was in charge of national production and purchase “priorities” for Baruch’s board. With the war mobilization conducted under the supervision of the War Industries Board, U.S. consumers and taxpayers showered unprecedented fortunes on war producers and certain holders of raw materials and patents. Hearings in 1934 by the committee of U.S. Senator Gerald Nye attacked the “Merchants of Death” — war profiteers such as Remington Arms and the British Vickers company –whose salesmen had manipulated many nations into wars, and then supplied all sides with the weapons to fight them.

Percy Rockefellar

Percy Rockefellar

Percy Rockefeller and Samuel Pryor’s Remington Arms supplied machine guns and Colt automatic pistols; millions of rifles to Czarist Russia; over half of the small-arms ammunition used by the Anglo-American allies in World War I; and 69 percent of the rifles used by the United States in that conflict. Samuel Bush’s wartime relationship to these businessmen would continue after the war, and would especially aid his son Prescott’s career of service to the Harrimans.

Now, arms production in wartime is by necessity carried on with great security precautions. The public need not know details of the private lives of the government or industry executives involved, and a broad interrelationship between government and private-sector personnel is normal and useful. But during the period preceding World War I, and in the war years 1914-1917 when the U.S. was still neutral, interlocking Wall Street financiers subservient to British strategy lobbied heavily, and twisted U.S. government and domestic police functions. Led by the J.P. Morgan concern, Britain’s overall purchasing agent in America, these financiers wanted a world war and they wanted the United States in it as Britain’s ally. The U.S. and British arms companies, owned by these international financiers, poured out weapons abroad in deals not subject to the scrutiny of any electorate back home. The same gentlemen, as we shall see, later supplied weapons and money to Hitler’s Nazis.

The Great Game


On May 1, 1926, Prescott Bush joined W.A. Harriman & Co. as its vice president, under the bank’s president, Bert Walker, his father-in-law and George’s maternal grandfather–the head of the family. Bush would demonstrate strong loyalty to the firm he joined in 1926. And the bank, with the scope and power of many ordinary nations, could amply reward its agents. George Bush’s Grandfather Walker had put the enterprise together, quietly, secretly, using all the international connections at his disposal. Let us briefly look back at the beginning of the Harriman firm–the Bush family enterprise–and follow its course into one of history’s darkest projects.

The firm’s first global lever was its successful arrangement to get into Germany by dominating that country’s shipping. Averell Harriman announced in 1920 that he would re-start Germany’s Hamburg- Amerika Line, after many months of scheming and arm-twisting. Hamburg-Amerika’s commercial steamships had been confiscated by the United States at the end of the First World War. These ships had then become the property of the Harriman enterprise, by some arrangements with the U.S. authorities that were never made public.

The deal was breathtaking; it would create the world’s largest private shipping line. Hamburg-Amerika Line regained its confiscated vessels, for a heavy price. The Harriman enterprise took “the right to participate in 50 percent of all business originated in Hamburg” ; and for the next twenty years (1920-1940), the Harriman enterprise had “complete control of all activities of the Hamburg line in the United States.” Harriman became co-owner of Hamburg-Amerika. The Harriman-Walker firm gained a tight hold on its management, with the not-so-subtle backing of the post-World War I occupation of Germany by the armies of England and America.


Just after Harriman’s public statement, the St. Louis press celebrated Bert Walker’s role in assembling the money to consummate the deal:

“Ex-St. Louisan Forms Giant Ship Merger”

The story celebrated a “merger of two big financial houses in New York, which will place practically unlimited capital at the disposal of the new American-German shipping combine….” Bert Walker had arranged a “marriage” of J.P. Morgan credit and Harriman family inherited wealth.

W.A. Harriman & Co., of which Walker was president and founder, was merging with the Morton & Co. private bank–and Walker was “[p]rominent in the affairs of Morton & Co.,” which was interlocked with the Morgan-controlled Guaranty Trust Co. The Hamburg-Amerika takeover created an effective instrument for the manipulation and fatal subversion of Germany. One of the great “merchants of death,” Samuel Pryor, was in it from the beginning. Pryor, then chairman of the executive committee of Remington Arms, helped arrange the deal and served with Walker on the board of Harriman’s shipping front organization, the American Ship and Commerce Co.

Walker and Harriman took the next giant step in 1922, setting up their European headquarters office in Berlin. With the aid of the Hamburg-based Warburg bank, W.A. Harriman & Co. began spreading an investment net over German industry and raw materials. From the Berlin base, Walker and Harriman then plunged into deals with the new dictatorship of the Soviet Union. They led a select group of Wall Street and British Empire speculators who re-started the Russian oil industry, which had been devastated by the Bolshevik Revolution. They contracted to mine Soviet manganese, an element essential to modern steelmaking. These concessions were arranged directly with Leon Trotsky, then with Felix Dzerzhinsky, founder of the Soviet dictatorship’s secret intelligence service (K.G.B), whose huge statue was finally pulled down by pro-democracy demonstrators in 1991.


With the bank launched, Bert Walker found New York the ideal place to satisfy his passion for sports, games and gambling. Walker was elected president of the U.S. Golf Association in 1920. He negotiated new international rules for the game with the Royal and Ancient Golf Club of St. Andrews, Scotland. After these talks he contributed the three-foot-high silver Walker Cup, for which British and American teams have since competed every two years. Bert’s son-in-law Prescott Bush was later secretary of the U.S. Golf Association, during the grave political and economic crises of the early 1930s. Prescott became USGA President in 1935, while he was otherwise embroiled in the family firm’s work with Nazi Germany.

USGA Walker Cup

USGA Walker Cup

In 1925, Bert Walker and Averell Harriman headed a syndicate which rebuilt Madison Square Garden as the modern Palace of Sport. Walker was at the center of New York’s gambling scene in its heyday, in that Prohibition era of colorful and bloody gangsters. The Garden bloomed with million-dollar prize fights; bookies and their clients pooled more millions, trying to match the pace of the speculation-crazed stock and bond men. This was the era of “organized” crime–the national gambling and bootleg syndicate structured on the New York corporate model.

By 1930 Walker was New York State Racing Commissioner. The vivid colors and sounds of the racing scene must have impressed little George as much as his grandfather. Bert Walker bred race horses at his own stable, the Log Cabin Stud. He was president of the Belmont Park race track. Bert also personally managed most aspects of Harriman’s racing interests.

After the firm’s 1931 merger with the British-American banking house Brown Brothers, Prescott Bush became managing partner of the resulting company: Brown Brothers Harriman. This was ultimately the largest and politically the most important private banking house in America. Financial collapse, world depression and social upheaval followed the fevered speculation of the 1920s. The 1929-31 crash of securities values wiped out the small fortune Prescott Bush had gained since 1926. But because of his devotion to the Harrimans, they “did a very generous thing,” as Bush later put it. They staked him to what he had lost and put him back on his feet.

Depression Era Hemp Farm

Depression Era Hemp Farm

Prescott Bush described his own role, from 1931 through the 1940s, in a confidential interview:

I emphasize … that the Harrimans showed great courage and loyalty and confidence in us, because three or four of us were really running the business, the day to day business. Averell was all over the place in those days … and Roland was involved in a lot of directorships, and he didn’t get down into the “lift- up-and-bear-down” activity of the bank, you see– the day- to-day decisions … we were really running the business, the day to day business, all the administrative decisions and the executive decisions. We were the ones that did it. We were the managing partners.”

But of the “three or four” partners in charge, Bush was effectively at the head of the firm, because he had taken over management of the gigantic personal investment funds of Averell and E. Roland “Bunny” Harriman. In those interwar years, Prescott Bush made the family fortune which George Bush inherited. He piled up the money from an international project which continued until a new world war, and the action of the U.S. government, intervened to stop him.

Control of Nazi Commerce



Bert Walker had arranged the credits Harriman needed to take control of the Hamburg-Amerika Line back in 1920. Walker had organized the American Ship and Commerce Corp. as a unit of the W.A. Harriman & Co., with contractual power over Hamburg-Amerika’s affairs. As the Nazi project went into high gear, Harriman-Bush shares in American Ship and Commerce Corp. were held by the Harriman Fifteen Corp., ran by Prescott Bush and Bert Walker.

In many ways, Bush’s Hamburg-Amerika Line was the pivot for the entire Nazi project.

Averell Harriman and Bert Walker had gained control over the steamship company in 1920 in negotiations with its post-World War I chief executive, Wilhelm Cuno, and with the line’s bankers, M.M. Warburg. Cuno was thereafter completely dependent on the Anglo-Americans, and became a member of the Anglo-German Friendship Society. In the 1930-32 drive for a Hitler dictatorship, Wilhelm Cuno contributed important sums to the Nazi Party. Albert Voegler was chief executive of the Thyssen-Flick German Steel Trust for which Bush’s Union Banking Corp. was the New York office. He was a director of the Bush-affiliate BHS Bank in Rotterdam, and a director of the Harriman-Bush Hamburg-Amerika Line. Voegler joined Thyssen and Flick in their heavy 1930-33 Nazi contributions, and helped organize the final Nazi leap into national power.


Thyssen Steel


The Schroeder family of bankers was a linchpin for the Nazi activities of Harriman and Prescott Bush, closely tied to their lawyers Allen and John Foster Dulles. Baron Kurt von Schroeder was co-director of the massive Thyssen-Huautte foundry along with Johann Groeninger, Prescott Bush’s New York bank partner. Kurt von Schroeder was treasurer of the support organization for the Nazi Party’s private armies, to which Friedrich Flick contributed. Kurt von Schroeder and Montagu Norman’s protégé Hjalmar Schacht together made the final arrangements for Hitler to enter the government. Baron Rudolph von Schroeder was vice president and director of the Hamburg-Amerika Line. Certain actions taken directly by the Harriman-Bush shipping line in 1932 are ranked among the gravest acts of treason in this century.

The U.S. embassy in Berlin reported back to Washington that the “costly election campaigns” and “ the cost of maintaining a private army of 300,000 to 400,000 men ” had raised questions as to the Nazis’ financial backers. The constitutional government of the German republic moved to defend national freedom by ordering the Nazi Party private armies disbanded. The U.S. embassy reported that the Hamburg-Amerika Line was purchasing and distributing propaganda attacks against the German government, for attempting this last-minute crackdown on Hitler’s forces.

IG Farben

IG Farben

Thousands of German opponents of Hitlerism were shot or intimidated by privately armed Nazi Brown Shirts. In this connection we note that the original “Merchant of Death, ” Samuel Pryor, was a founding director of both the Union Banking Corp. and the American Ship and Commerce Corp. Since Mr. Pryor was executive committee chairman of Remington Arms and a central figure in the world’s private arms traffic, his use to the Nazi project was enhanced as the Bush family’s partner in Nazi Party banking and trans-Atlantic shipping. The U.S. Senate arms-traffic investigators probed Remington after it was joined in a cartel agreement on explosives to the Nazi firm I.G. Farben. Looking at the period leading up to Hitler’s seizure of power, the Senators found that “German political associations, like the Nazi and others, are nearly all armed with American … guns…. Arms of all kinds coming from America are transshipped in the Scheldt to river barges before the vessels arrive in Antwerp. They then can be carried through Holland without police inspection or interference. The Nazis and Communists are presumed to get arms in this manner. The principal arms coming from America are Thompson submachine guns and revolvers. The number is great. ”

The beginning of the Hitler regime brought some bizarre changes to the Hamburg-Amerika Line. Prescott Bush’s American Ship and Commerce Corp. notified Max Warburg of Hamburg, Germany, on March 7, 1933, that Warburg was to be the corporation’s official, designated representative on the board of Hamburg-Amerika. Max Warburg replied on March 27, 1933, assuring his American sponsors that the Hitler government was good for Germany: “ For the last few years business was considerably better than we had anticipated, but a reaction is making itself felt for some months. We are actually suffering also under the very active propaganda against Germany, caused by some unpleasant circumstances. These occurrences were the natural consequence of the very excited election campaign, but were extraordinarily exaggerated in the foreign press. The Government is firmly resolved to maintain public peace and order in Germany, and I feel perfectly convinced in this respect that there is no cause for any alarm whatsoever. ”

Ships Built by UBS Loans

Ships Built by UBC Loans

This seal of approval for Hitler, coming from a famous Jewish business magnate, was just what Harriman and Bush required, for they anticipated rather serious “ alarm ” inside the U.S.A. against their Nazi operations. On March 29, 1933, two days after Max’s letter to Harriman, Max’s son, Erich Warburg, sent a cable to his cousin Frederick M. Warburg, a director of the Harriman railroad system. He asked Frederick to “use all your influence ” to stop all anti-Nazi activity in America, including “ atrocity news and unfriendly propaganda in foreign press, mass meetings, etc. ” Frederick cabled back to Erich: “ No responsible groups here [are] urging [a] boycott [of] German goods[,] merely excited individuals. ” Two days after that, On March 31, 1933, the American-Jewish Committee, controlled by the Warburgs, and the B’nai B’rith, heavily influenced by the Sulzbergers (New York Times), issued a formal, official joint statement of the two organizations, counseling “that no American boycott against Germany be encouraged, ” and advising “ that no further mass meetings be held or similar forms of agitation be employed. ”

The executive board of the Hamburg Amerika Line (Hapag) met jointly with the North German Lloyd Company board in Hamburg on Sept. 5, 1933. Under official Nazi supervision, the two firms were merged. Prescott Bush’s American Ship and Commerce Corp. installed Christian J. Beck, a long-time Harriman executive, as manager of freight and operations in North America for the new joint Nazi shipping lines (Hapag-Lloyd) on Nov. 4, 1933. According to testimony of officials of the companies before Congress in 1934, a supervisor from the Nazi Labor Front rode with every ship of the Harriman-Bush line; employees of the New York offices were directly organized into the Nazi Labor Front organization; Hamburg-Amerika provided free passage to individuals going abroad for Nazi propaganda purposes; and the line subsidized pro-Nazi newspapers in the U.S.A., as it had done in Germany against the constitutional German government.


In mid-1936, Prescott Bush’s American Ship and Commerce Corp. cabled M.M. Warburg, asking Warburg to represent the company’s heavy share interest at the forthcoming Hamburg-Amerika stockholders meeting. The Warburg office replied with the information that “we represented you ” at the stockholders meeting and “ exercised on your behalf your voting power for Rm [gold marks] 3,509,600 Hapag stock deposited with us. ” The Warburgs transmitted a letter received from Emil Helfferich, German chief executive of both Hapag-Lloyd and of the Standard Oil subsidiary in Nazi Germany: “ It is the intention to continue the relations with Mr. Harriman on the same basis as heretofore…. ” After the meeting with the Zeppelin passenger, the Harriman-Bush office replied: “ I am glad to learn that Mr. Hellferich [sic] has stated that relations between the Hamburg American Line and ourselves will be continued on the same basis as heretofore. ”

Two months before moving against Prescott Bush’s Union Banking Corporation, the U. S. government ordered the seizure of all property of the Hamburg-Amerika Line and North German Lloyd, under the Trading with the Enemy Act. The investigators noted in the pre-seizure report that Christian J. Beck was still acting as an attorney representing the Nazi firm. In May 1933, just after the Hitler regime was consolidated, an agreement was reached in Berlin for the coordination of all Nazi commerce with the U.S.A. The Harriman International Co., led by Averell Harriman’s first cousin Oliver, was to head a syndicate of 150 firms and individuals, to conduct all exports from Hitler Germany to the United States.

Prescott Bush

Prescott Bush

This pact had been negotiated in Berlin between Hitler’s economics minister, Hjalmar Schacht, and John Foster Dulles, international attorney for dozens of Nazi enterprises, with the counsel of Max Warburg and Kurt von Schroeder. John Foster Dulles would later be U.S. Secretary of State, and the great power in the Republican Party of the 1950s. Foster’s friendship and that of his brother Allen (head of the Central Intelligence Agency), greatly aided Prescott Bush to become the Republican U.S. Senator from Connecticut. And it was to be of inestimable value to George Bush, in his ascent to the heights of “covert action government, ” that both of these Dulles brothers were the lawyers for the Bush family’s far-flung enterprise.

John Foster Dulles

John Foster Dulles

Throughout the 1930s, John Foster Dulles arranged debt restructuring for German firms under a series of decrees issued by Adolf Hitler. In these deals, Dulles struck a balance between the interest owed to selected, larger investors, and the needs of the growing Nazi war-making apparatus for producing tanks, poison gas, etc. Dulles wrote to Prescott Bush in 1937 concerning one such arrangement. The German-Atlantic Cable Company, owning Nazi Germany’s only telegraph channel to the United States, had made debt and management agreements with the Walker-Harriman bank during the 1920s. A new decree would now void those agreements, which had originally been reached with non-Nazi corporate officials. Dulles asked Bush, who managed these affairs for Averell Harriman, to get Averell’s signature on a letter to Nazi officials, agreeing to the changes. Dulles wrote:

Sept. 22, 1937

Mr. Prescott S. Bush

59 Wall Street, New York, N.Y.

Dear Prescott,

I have looked over the letter of the German-American [sic] Cable Company to Averell Harriman…. It would appear that the only rights in the matter are those which inure in the bankers and that no legal embarrassment would result, so far as the bondholders are concerned, by your acquiescence in the modification of the bankers’ agreement.

Sincerely yours,

John Foster Dulles

Dulles enclosed a proposed draft reply, Bush got Harriman’s signature, and the changes went through.In conjunction with these arrangements, the German Atlantic Cable Company attempted to stop payment on its debts to smaller American bondholders. The money was to be used instead for arming the Nazi state, under a decree of the Hitler government. Despite the busy efforts of Bush and Dulles, a New York court decided that this particular Hitler “law ” was invalid in the United States; small bondholders, not parties to deals between the bankers and the Nazis, were entitled to get paid.

Trading With The Enemy



In October 1942, ten months after entering World War II, America was preparing its first assault against Nazi military forces. Prescott Bush was managing partner of Brown Brothers Harriman. His 18-year-old son George, the future U.S. President, had just begun training to become a naval pilot. On Oct. 20, 1942, the U.S. government ordered the seizure of Nazi German banking operations in New York City which were being conducted by Prescott Bush.

Under the Trading with the Enemy Act, the government took over the Union Banking Corporation, in which Bush was a director. The U.S. Alien Property Custodian seized Union Banking Corp.’s stock shares, all of which were owned by Prescott Bush, E. Roland “ Bunny ” Harriman, three Nazi executives, and two other associates of Bush. The order seizing the bank “ vests ” (seizes) “ all of the capital stock of Union Banking Corporation, a New York corporation, ” and names the holders of its shares as:

“ E. Roland Harriman–3991 shares ”
[chairman and director of Union Banking Corp. (UBC); this is “ Bunny ” Harriman, described by Prescott Bush as a place holder who didn’t get much into banking affairs; Prescott managed his personal investments]

“ Cornelis Lievense–4 shares ”
[president and director of UBC; New York resident banking functionary for the Nazis]

“ Harold D. Pennington–1 share ”
[treasurer and director of UBC; an office manager employed by Bush at Brown Brothers Harriman]

“ Ray Morris–1 share ”

[director of UBC; partner of Bush and the Harrimans]

“ Prescott S. Bush–1 share ”
[director of UBC, which was co-founded and sponsored by his father-in-law George Walker; senior managing partner for E. Roland Harriman and Averell Harriman]

“ H.J. Kouwenhoven–1 share ”
[director of UBC; organized UBC as the emissary of Fritz Thyssen in negotiations with George Walker and Averell Harriman; managing director of UBC’s Netherlands affiliate under Nazi occupation; industrial executive in Nazi Germany; director and chief foreign financial executive of the German Steel Trust]

“ Johann G. Groeninger–1 share ”
[director of UBC and of its Netherlands affiliate; industrial executive in Nazi Germany, subordinate of Fritz Thyssen]

On Oct. 28 1942, the government issued orders seizing two Nazi front organizations run by the Bush-Harriman bank: the Holland-American Trading Corporation and the Seamless Steel Equipment Corporation.  U.S. forces landed under fire near Algiers on Nov. 8, 1942; heavy combat raged throughout November. Nazi interests in the Silesian-American Corporation, long managed by Prescott Bush and his father-in-law George Herbert Walker, were seized under the Trading with the Enemy Act on Nov. 17, 1942. In this action, the government announced that it was seizing only the Nazi interests, leaving the Nazis’ U.S. partners to carry on the business.

Thyssen with Hitler

Thyssen with Hitler

These and other actions taken by the U.S. government in wartime were, tragically, too little and too late. President Bush’s family had already played a central role in financing and arming Adolf Hitler for his takeover of Germany; in financing and managing the buildup of Nazi war industries for the conquest of Europe and war against the U.S.A.; and in the development of Nazi genocide theories and racial propaganda, with their well-known results.

President Franklin Roosevelt’s Alien Property Custodian, Leo T. Crowley, signed Vesting Order Number 248 seizing the property of Prescott Bush under the Trading with the Enemy Act. The order, published in obscure government record books and kept out of the news, explained nothing about the Nazis involved; only that the Union Banking Corporation was run for the “ Thyssen family ” of “ Germany and/or Hungary ”–“ nationals … of a designated enemy country. ”

By deciding that Prescott Bush and the other directors of the Union Banking Corp. were legally front men for the Nazis, the government avoided the more important historical issue: In what way were Hitler’s Nazis themselves hired, armed and instructed by the New York and London clique of which Prescott Bush was an executive manager? Let us examine the Harriman-Bush Hitler project from the 1920s until it was partially broken up, to seek an answer for that question.

Fritz Thyssen and his business partners are universally recognized as the most important German financiers of Adolf Hitler’s takeover of Germany. At the time of the order seizing the Thyssen family’s Union Banking Corp., Mr. Fritz Thyssen had already published his famous book, I Paid Hitler, admitting that he had financed Adolf Hitler and the Nazi movement since October 1923. Thyssen’s role as the leading early backer of Hitler’s grab for power in Germany had been noted by U.S. diplomats in Berlin in 1932. The order seizing the Bush-Thyssen bank was curiously quiet and modest about the identity of the perpetrators who had been nailed.

Frtiz Thyssen

Frtiz Thyssen

But two weeks before the official order, government investigators had reported secretly that “ W. Averell Harriman was in Europe sometime prior to 1924 and at that time became acquainted with Fritz Thyssen, the German industrialist. ” Harriman and Thyssen agreed to set up a bank for Thyssen in New York. “ [C]ertain of [Harriman’s] associates would serve as directors…. ” Thyssen agent “ H. J. Kouwenhoven … came to the United States … prior to 1924 for conferences with the Harriman Company in this connection…. ”

When exactly was “ Harriman in Europe sometime prior to 1924 ”? In fact, he was in Berlin in 1922 to set up the Berlin branch of W.A. Harriman & Co. under George Walker’s presidency. The Union Banking Corporation was established formally in 1924, as a unit in the Manhattan offices of W.A. Harriman & Co., interlocking with the Thyssen-owned Bank voor Handel en Scheepvaart (BHS) in the Netherlands. The investigators concluded that “ the Union Banking Corporation has since its inception handled funds chiefly supplied to it through the Dutch bank by the Thyssen interests for American investment. ”

Thus by personal agreement between Averell Harriman and Fritz Thyssen in 1922, W.A. Harriman & Co. (alias Union Banking Corporation) would be transferring funds back and forth between New York and the “ Thyssen interests ” in Germany. By putting up about $400,000, the Harriman organization would be joint owner and manager of Thyssen’s banking operations outside of Germany.

How important was the Nazi enterprise for which President Bush’s father was the New York banker?

Vereinigte Stahlwerke

Vereinigte Stahlwerke

The 1942 U.S. government investigative report said that Bush’s Nazi-front bank was an interlocking concern with the Vereinigte Stahlwerke (United Steel Works Corporation or German Steel Trust) led by Fritz Thyssen and his two brothers. After the war, Congressional investigators probed the Thyssen interests, Union Banking Corp. and related Nazi units. The investigation showed that the Vereinigte Stahlwerke had produced the following approximate proportions of total German national output:

50.8% of Nazi Germany’s pig iron
41.4% of Nazi Germany’s universal plate
36.0% of Nazi Germany’s heavy plate
38.5% of Nazi Germany’s galvanized sheet
45.5% of Nazi Germany’s pipes and tubes
22.1% of Nazi Germany’s wire
35.0% of Nazi Germany’s explosives.@s8

Prescott Bush became vice president of W.A. Harriman & Co. in 1926. That same year, a friend of Harriman and Bush set up a giant new organization for their client Fritz Thyssen, prime sponsor of politician Adolf Hitler. The new German Steel Trust, Germany’s largest industrial corporation, was organized in 1926 by Wall Street banker Clarence Dillon. Dillon was the old comrade of Prescott Bush’s father Sam Bush from the “ Merchants of Death ” bureau in World War I. In return for putting up $70 million to create his organization, majority owner Thyssen gave the Dillon Read company two or more representatives on the board of the new Steel Trust.

Thus there is a division of labor: Thyssen’s own confidential accounts, for political and related purposes, were run through the Walker-Bush organization; the German Steel Trust did its corporate banking through Dillon Read.

The Walker-Bush firm’s banking activities were not just politically neutral money-making ventures which happened to coincide with the aims of German Nazis. All of the firm’s European business in those days was organized around anti-democratic political forces. In 1927, criticism of their support for totalitarianism drew this retort from Bert Walker, written from Kennebunkport to Averell Harriman: “ It seems to me that the suggestion in connection with Lord Bearsted’s views that we withdraw from Russia smacks somewhat of the impertinent…. I think that we have drawn our line and should hew to it. ”

Bert Walker

Bert Walker

Averell Harriman met with Italy’s fascist dictator, Benito Mussolini. A representative of the firm subsequently telegraphed good news back to his chief executive Bert Walker: “ … During these last days … Mussolini … has examined and approved our c[o]ntract 15 June. ”

The great financial collapse of 1929-31 shook America, Germany and Britain, weakening all governments. It also made the hard-pressed Prescott Bush even more willing to do whatever was necessary to retain his new place in the world. It was in this crisis that certain Anglo-Americans determined on the installation of a Hitler regime in Germany. W.A. Harriman & Co., well-positioned for this enterprise and rich in assets from their German and Russian business, merged with the British-American investment house, Brown Brothers, on January 1, 1931. Bert Walker retired to his own G.H. Walker & Co. This left the Harriman brothers, Prescott Bush and Thatcher M. Brown as the senior partners of the new Brown Brothers Harriman firm. (The London, England branch of the Brown family firm continued operating under its historic name–Brown, Shipley.)

Robert A Lovett

Robert A Lovett

Robert A. Lovett also came over as a partner from Brown Brothers. His father, E.H. Harriman’s lawyer and railroad chief, had been on the War Industries Board with Prescott’s father. Though he remained a partner in Brown Brothers Harriman, the junior Lovett soon replaced his father as chief executive of Union Pacific Railroad. Brown Brothers had a racial tradition that fitted it well for Hitler. Brown Brothers, with offices in the U.S.A. and in England, had carried on their ships fully 75 percent of the slave cotton from the American South over to British mill owners. Now in 1931, the virtual dictator of world finance, Bank of England Governor Montagu Collet Norman, was a former Brown Brothers partner, whose grandfather had been boss of Brown Brothers during the U.S. Civil War. Montagu Norman was known as the most avid of Hitler’s supporters within British ruling circles, and Norman’s intimacy with this firm was essential to his management of the Nazi project.

A 1935 Harriman Fifteen Corporation memo from George Walker announced an agreement had been made “in Berlin ” to sell an 8,000 block of their shares in Consolidated Silesian Steel. Nazi tanks and bombs “settled” business with the invasion of Poland, beginning World War II. The Nazi army had been equipped by Flick, Harriman, Walker and Bush, with materials essentially stolen from Poland by Flick. There were probably few people at the time who could appreciate the irony, that when the Soviets also attacked and invaded Poland from the East, their vehicles were fueled by oil pumped from Baku wells revived by the Harriman/Walker/Bush enterprise.

Nazi Invasion in Poland

Nazi Invasion in Poland

Three years later, nearly a year after the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor, the U.S. government ordered the seizure of the Nazis’ share in the Silesian-American Corporation under the Trading with the Enemy Act. Enemy nationals were said to own 49 percent of the common stock and 41.67 percent of the preferred stock of the company. The order characterized the company as a “business enterprise within the United States, owned by [a front company in] Zurich, Switzerland, and held for the benefit of Bergwerksgesellschaft George von Giesche’s Erben, a German corporation….

Bert Walker was still the senior director of the company, which he had founded back in 1926 simultaneously with the creation of the German Steel Trust. Ray Morris, Prescott’s partner from Union Banking Corp. and Brown Brothers Harriman, was also a director. The investigative report prior to the government crackdown explained the “ NATURE OF BUSINESS: The subject corporation is an American holding company for German and Polish subsidiaries, which own large and valuable coal and zinc mines in Silesia, Poland and Germany. Since September 1939, these properties have been in the possession of and have been operated by the German government and have undoubtedly been of considerable assistance to that country in its war effort. ” The report noted that the American stockholders hoped to regain control of the European properties after the war.


- The Green Chazzan


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Required Reading – Operation Jedburgh and OSS China – Part 4

EDITOR: The mysterious Paul Helliwell was the Station Chief of OSS China, the leader of the renegade commando group and the original architect of the CIA drugs-for-arms trade that would be the center of the Consortiums power. He was one of the top operatives for the CIA, the Mob and the Consortium, helping expand narcotics operations worldwide. Helliwell also controlled the finances of Operation J/M-Wave, the main CIA team picked from former Jedburgh Elite that was to conduct the Bay of Pigs assassination program. William Pawley was also key CIA figures in expanding the global narcotics trade in Central and South America. He was Tommy Corcoran’s main partner in Air America. He played a significant role in the Bay of Pigs and Operation J/M-Wave. Operation J/M-Wave was the CIA operation to assassinate Castro and recover the Consortium assets through the overthrow of Cuban communism.

Excerpts from Operation Jedburgh

by John Simkin (1997) – Part 4

Jedburgh Team Profiles

Paul Helliwell

Paul Helliwell (Left)

Paul Helliwell (Left)

Paul Lional Edward Helliwell was born in 1915. He was a lawyer before he joined the United States Army during the Second World War. Later he was transferred to the Office of Strategic Services (OSS) where he served under William Donovan. Helliwell was sent to China where he worked with Ray S. Cline, Richard Helms, E. Howard Hunt, Jake Esterline, Mitchell WerBell, John K. Singlaub, Jack Anderson, Robert Emmett Johnson and Lucien Conein. Others working in China at that time included Tommy Corcoran, Whiting Willauer and William Pawley.

OSS Patch

OSS Patch

In 1943 Colonel Paul Helliwell became head of the Secret Intelligence Branch of the OSS in Europe. Helliwell was replaced in this post by William Casey in 1945. Helliwell became chief of the Far East Division of the War Department’s Strategic Service Unit, an interim intelligence organization formed after OSS was closed down. In 1947 Helliwell joined the Central Intelligence Agency. In May 1949, General Claire Chennault had a meeting with Harry S. Truman and advocated an increase in funds for Chaing Kai-shek and his Kuomintang Army (KMT) in his war in China. Truman dismissed the idea as impractical. However, Frank Wisner, was more sympathetic and when Mao Zedong took power in China in 1950, he sent Helliwell to Taiwan.

China 1947

China 1947

Early 1949

Early 1949

China Advances on Opium Producing Regions (1949)

China Advances on Opium Producing Regions (1949)

Helliwell’s main job was to help Chaing Kai-shek to prepare for a future invasion of Communist China. The CIA created a pair of front companies to supply and finance the surviving forces of Chaing’s KMT. Paul Helliwell was put in charge of this operation. This included establishing Civil Air Transport (CAT), a Taiwan-based airline, and the Sea Supply Corporation, a shipping company in Bangkok. It was Helliwell’s idea to use these CIA fronted companies to raise money to help support Chaing Kai-shek. According to Joseph Trento (Prelude to Terror): “Through Sea Supply, Helliwell imported large amounts of arms for the KMT soldiers to keep the Burmese military from throwing them out of the country. The arms were ferried into Burma on CAT airplanes. CAT then used the “empty” planes to fly drugs from Burma to Taiwan, Bangkok, and Saigon. There the drugs were processed for the benefit of the KMT and Chiang Kai-shek’s corrupt government on Taiwan.”

Civil Air Transport (CAT), later renamed Air America, provided the CIA with the air power needed to sustain its covert operations for the next twenty-five years. Helliwell was to play an important role in running these covert, and often illegal operations. By the late 1950s it became clear that Chaing Kai-shek would never be strong enough to invade China. The main focus changed to stopping the spread of communism to countries like Burma, Thailand, Vietnam and Laos. At the time, the main group fighting communism in the region were the large private armies controlled by the drug lords. For example, General Vang Pao was employing his 30,000-man army to help the Pathet Lao. In return for joining the CIA, Helliwell helped Vang Pao to modernize the drug trade. William Corson claims that: “Portable heroin processing facilities were brought in. It was a creation of the CIA’s technical services division.” Some of these profits went to help CIA run some unofficial covert operations.

Gen. Vang Pao (Laos)

Gen. Vang Pao (Laos)

In 1960 Paul Helliwell was transferred to provide business cover for the CIA’s Cuban operations. According to Peter Dale Scott (The Iran Contra Connection) Helliwell worked with E. Howard Hunt, Mitch WerBell and Lucien Conein on developing relationships with drug-dealing Cuban veterans of the Bay of Pigs invasion. It was during this period that Helliwell met Ted Shackley and Thomas Clines. Helliwell later became CIA paymaster for JM/WAVE. In this way, Shackley was able to finance unofficial CIA operations against Cuba.


After the assassination of John F. Kennedy, Helliwell was sent by the CIA to the Bahamas where he set up offshore banks for CIA use. At first he established the Mercantile Bank and Trust Company and then the Castle Bank and Trust Company. Helliwell also ran the American Bankers Insurance Company based in Galveston, Texas. This provided insurance cover for businessmen who cooperated with the CIA. Helliwell also created the Intercontinental Holding, a company in the Cayman Islands that owned the Lear jet used by Barry Seal for his drug running activities. Helliwell also established a Miami office for the Sea Supply Corporation. According to Joseph Trento (Prelude to Terror): “The primary objective of Helliwell’s operations in Florida was to cement the CIA’s relationship with organized crime.” This included Santos Trafficante, who had a common business interest in Asia, the “successful exportation of Chinese white heroin.”

According to Daniel Hopsicker (Barry and the Boys), Helliwell ran Red Sunset Enterprises in Miami. Hopsicker claims it was a CIA front company set up to recruit frogmen and explosives experts for Operation Mongoose. In 1973 the Internal Revenue Service began an investigation called Operation Trade Winds. During its investigation it discovered that some major organized crime figures such as Morris Dalitz, Morris Kleinman and Samuel A. Tucker were using the Castle Bank and Trust Company. It soon became clear that the bank was laundering CIA funds and drug profits. The IRS eventually announced that it was dropping its investigation of Castle Bank because of “legal problems”. According to the Wall Street Journal, the reasons for this was “pressure from the Central Intelligence Agency”.

Gangster Moe Dalitz

Gangster Moe Dalitz

The CIA now needed a new bank. Later that year, Frank Nugan, an Australian lawyer, and Michael Hand, a former CIA contract operative, established the Nugan Hand Bank. Another key figure in this venture was Bernie Houghton, who was closely connected to CIA officials, Ted Shackley and Thomas G. Clines. Nugan ran operations in Sydney whereas Hand established a branch in Hong Kong. This enabled Australian depositors to access a money-laundering facility for illegal transfers of Australian money to Hong Kong. According to Alfred W. McCoy, the “Hand-Houghton partnership led the bank’s international division into new fields – drug finance, arms trading, and support work for CIA covert operations.” Hand told friends “it was his ambition that Nugan Hand became banker for the CIA.”

Helliwell continued to work as a lawyer in Miami and served as legal counsel to a Panamanian holding company that controlled a Bahamian gambling casino connected with Meyer Lansky. Paul Helliwell died from emphysema on 24th December, 1976.


Paul Helliwell, instructions to all agents of the Secret Intelligence Branch of the OSS in Europe (26th January, 1943)

“Psychological warfare is the employment of all moral and physical means other than orthodox military operations which tend to: destroy the will and ability of the enemy to resist; deprive him of the support of his allies and neutrals; increase in our own troops and allies the will to victory. This must be consonant with national policy and coordinated with orthodox military operations. The implements of psychological warfare include open propaganda, black propaganda, subversion, and sabotage, special phases of economic and political pressure, and cultural contacts. Since psychological warfare can be waged successfully only when supplemented by adequate intelligence, it becomes necessary that a flow of information regarding the psychological state of mind of groups and populations in both enemy and neutral countries, and their reaction to psychological warfare conducted by our agencies and those of our allies, be available to this office. Therefore, supplementary to your present activities, it is desired by the Director that you secure and send reports regarding the vulnerabilities of enemy groups, both civil and military, and neutral populations which can be exploited for psychological warfare.”

OSS Structure

OSS Structure

Paul Helliwell, Instructional Memorandum on Intelligence Operations (1943)

“Relatively accurate facts can be secured as to the activities of the civil government, and the parties or political groups exercising power at the moment, and these reports should be in considerable detail. The more difficult task of securing accurate information as to minority political groups and subversive political organizations constitutes a very real challenge to the Director. He must develop contacts within such groups, or place loyal agents in such groups as members. Such opposition forces should be assisted in every possible way in their aim to interfere with the functioning of the government in power. Financial support should be offered and, if accepted, should be given in such a way that that future actions of the group can be controlled. This can best be accomplished by requiring that one of our agents be given a high position in the organization and that he exercise control over the finances. … Efforts should be made to foment social unrest in the hostile national by agitating the current social problems and pitting one class against the other. A sub-Director who is thoroughly acquainted with the history of the hostile nation and its peoples should be assigned to study this problem and direct a planned campaign. … In studying his territory the Director will know the key points in the enemy installations but generally such points will be carefully protected and sabotage of such point must be the act of “desperate” men who have been especially selected and especially trained. … Propaganda should be divided into two categories, one being the Propaganda Reconnaissance Agent and the other the Propaganda Distributing Agent…”

“Orders to employees must always be verbal, definite and understandable. It is best to repeat orders, and to have the employee repeat the order, until it is positive that it is clearly understood. Orders should never be given in writing… The disposition to be made of an employee who proves to be unsatisfactory or disloyal should be a part of the Director’s plan. If the employee proves to be disloyal and is in possession of dangerous information, he should probably be killed…”

“Informers should be made available to known hostile agents and false or misleading information furnished. These informers may be either unwitting individuals or agents engaged (in a) deliberately planned campaign. The activities of known enemy organizations or agents might be embarrassed by rendering anonymous reports to police authorities and thus subjecting them to embarrassing inquiries. When possible their activities might be made the subject of reports to newspapers and thus secure them unfavorable publicity. The wives and relatives of known hostile agents should be given scandalous information, and embarrassing information of this type should be disseminated so that it reaches the ears of the superiors of a hostile agent.”



Jonathan Kwitny, The Crimes of Patriots (1987)

“So the CIA began supplying the KMT through two front companies: Civil Air Transport, headquartered in Taiwan, and Sea Supply Corporation, headquartered in Bangkok. Only a few people with top security clearance knew that both companies were covertly owned by the U.S. Government. They are important, not only for what they did in the 1950s, but also because they were precursors of organizations that touch directly on Nugan Hand in the 1970s.

After China was given up on, the focus of U.S. efforts in East Asia shifted to Indochina. Civil Air Transport was then transformed into (among several successor entities) Air America. That was the airline Michael Hand worked closely with as a CIA contract agent. Many of the CIA associates whose money first helped Hand get started in business in Australia were Air America employes.Sea Supply Corporation, for its part, was founded and run by a lawyer and CIA operative named Paul Helliwell.

During World War II, Helliwell had been chief of special intelligence in China for the OSS. Colleagues from those days told the Wall Street Journal’s Jim Drinkhall that Helliwell, then a colonel, regularly used to buy information with five-pound shipments of opium (“three sticky brown bars,” one man said). Drinkhall also reported being told that Helliwell ran an operation code-named “Deer Mission,” in which OSS personnel secretly parachuted into Indochina to treat Ho Chi Minh for malaria. After the heyday of Sea Supply in the 1950s, Helliwell moved to Miami and became an important figure in the Bay of Pigs invasion and the CIA’s other battles against Castro. His Castle Bank both funneled money for the CIA and, privately, operated as a profitable tax-cheat business. Its unexpected demise in the mid-1970s directly coincided with the growth of Nugan Hand. Considering the gaggle of brass from the U.S. intelligence community who helped push Nugan Hand into orbit in the late 1970s, there has been understandable speculation that Nugan Hand was Castle Bank’s successor.”

Largest Heroin Producing Regions After 1950

Largest Heroin Producing Regions After 1950


William Pawley

William Pawley

William Pawley


William Douglas Pawley was born in Florence, South Carolina, on 7th September, 1896. His father was a wealthy businessman based in Cuba and Pawley attended private schools in both Havana and Santiago. He later returned to the United States where he studied at the Gordon Military Academy in Georgia. In 1925 Pawley began work as an estate agent in Miami. Two years later he began working for the Curtiss-Wright Corporation. In 1928 Pawley returned to Cuba to become president of the Nacional Cubana de Aviacion Curtiss. He held this post until the company was sold to Pan American Airways in 1932.

Pawley now became president of the Intercontinent Corporation based in New York. The following year he moved to China where he became president of the China National Aviation Corporation. Over the next five years he built three aircraft factories for the Chinese government of Chiang Kai-shek. Pawley also formed a business relationship with Tommy Corcoran. In 1940, President Franklin D. Roosevelt had asked Corcoran to establish a private corporation to provide assistance to the nationalist government in China. Roosevelt even supplied the name of the proposed company, China Defense Supplies. He also suggested that his uncle, Frederick Delano, should be co-chairman of the company. Chiang nominated his former finance minister, Tse-ven Soong, as the other co-chairman.



For reasons of secrecy, Corcoran took no title other than outside counsel for China Defense Supplies. William S. Youngman was his frontman in China. Corcoran’s friend, Whitey Willauer, was moved to the Foreign Economic Administration, where he supervised the sending of supplies to China. In this way Corcoran was able to create an Asian Lend-Lease program. Pawley also worked closely with Claire Lee Chennault, who had been working as a military adviser to Chiang Kai-shek since 1937. Chennault told Tommy Corcoran that if he was given the resources, he could maintain an air force within China that could carry out raids against the Japanese. Corcoran returned to the United States and managed to persuade Franklin D. Roosevelt to approve the creation of the American Volunteer Group.

William Pawley became involved and he arranged for one hundred P-40 fighters, built by the Curtiss-Wright Corporation, that had been intended for Britain, to be redirected to Chennault in China. Pawley also arranged for the P-40 to be assembled in Rangoon. It was Tommy Corcoran’s son David who suggested that the American Volunteer Group should be called the Flying Tigers. Chennault liked the idea and asked his friend, Walt Disney, to design a tiger emblem for the planes. On 13th April, 1941, Franklin D. Roosevelt signed a secret executive order authorizing the American Volunteer Group to recruit reserve officers from the army, navy and marines. Pawley suggested that the men should be recruited as “flying instructors”.

In July, 1941, ten pilots and 150 mechanics were supplied with fake passports and sailed from San Francisco for Rangoon. When they arrived they were told that they were really involved in a secret war against Japan. To compensate for the risks involved, the pilots were to be paid $600 a month ($675 for a patrol leader). In addition, they were to receive $500 for every enemy plane they shot down. The Flying Tigers were extremely effective in their raids on Japanese positions and helped to slow down attempts to close the Burma Road, a key supply route to China. In seven months of fighting, the Flying Tigers destroyed 296 planes at a loss of 24 men (14 while flying and 10 on the ground).

Flying Tigers

Flying Tigers

In 1944 Pawley became president of the Industan Aircraft Manufacturing Company in Bangalore, India. Pawley was responsible for building India’s first ammonium-sulfate plant in Trannvanacore. After the war Pawley became a diplomat. In 1945 Harry S. Truman appointed Pawley as U.S. Ambassador to Peru. Soon afterwards left-wing newspapers in Lima began to claim that Pawley was making “lucrative deals” for himself in Peru. This involved transporting unspecified goods in and out of Peru.

In 1948 Pawley became Ambassador to Brazil. During this time he became a FBI informant. He passed information to J. Edgar Hoover claiming that Spruille Braden, the Ambassador to Argentina was under the control of communist advisers such as Gustavo Duran and George Michanowsky. In a document dated the 7th September, 1948, Pawley suggested that Braden was attempting to expose “non-existant and imagery Nazis in Latin America” as a cover for his communist sympathies. Pawley also claimed that William A. Wieland, who worked as a press officer for the embassy in Brazil, held “anti-capitalist” views.

Pawley continued to be involved in various business projects. He was a close friend of President Rafael Trujillo and together with George Smathers, had invested in the bauxite industry in the Dominican Republic. He was also extremely friendly with Fulgencio Batista and in 1948 he established Autobuses Modernos in Cuba. A company he later sold to Batista.

Chiang Kai Shek

Chiang Kai Shek

On 7th November, 1949, Pawley sent a memorandum to the State Department suggesting that a small group of Americans should be sent to Formosa in order to help protect the government of Chiang Kai-shek. Pawley claimed that Dean Acheson rejected the idea after consulting with advisers such as Owen Lattimore, John C. Vincent and John Davis. In February, 1951 Pawley became special assistant to Acheson. Later that year he held a similar post under Robert A. Lovett. However, he discovered that the State Department considered him to be a reactionary and he was denied access to secret documents concerning Latin America.

Pawley was an active member of the Republican Party. A close friend of both President Dwight Eisenhower and CIA director Allen W. Dulles, he took part in a policy that later become known as Executive Action (a plan to remove unfriendly foreign leaders from power). Pawley played a role Operation Success, a CIA plot to overthrow the Guatemalan government of Jacobo Arbenz in 1954 after he introduced land reforms and nationalized the United Fruit Company. John Foster Dulles decided that he “needed a civilian adviser to the State Department team to help expediate Operation Success”. Dulles selected William Pawley. In his book Peddling Influence (2005), David McKean argues that Pawley’s most important qualification for the job was his “long association with right-wing Latin America dictators.”

Fulgencio Batista

Fulgencio Batista

Gaeton Fonzi points out in his book, The Last Investigation: “Pawley had also owned major sugar interests in Cuba, as well as Havana’s bus, trolley and gas systems and he was close to both pre-Castro Cuban rulers, President Carlos Prio and General Fulgencio Batista. (Pawley was one of the dispossessed American investors in Cuba who early tried to convince Eisenhower that Castro was a Communist and urged him to arm the exiles in Miami.)”

In March 1958, President Dwight Eisenhower, disillusioned with Batista’s government, insisted he held elections. This he did, but the people showed their unhappiness with his government by refusing to vote. Over 75 per cent of the voters in the capital Havana boycotted the polls. In some areas, such as Santiago, it was as high as 98 per cent. Some members of the State Department came to the conclusion that it would be in America’s best long-term interest in Cuba to be seen as opposing Batista. William A. Wieland, Director of the Caribbean and Central American Affairs, was against America providing support for the Cuban dictator. As the U.S. Ambassador of Cuba, Earl E. T. Smith was later to tell a Senate Committee: “He (Wieland) believed that it would be in the best interest of Cuba and the best interest of the world in general when Batista was removed from office.”

Wieland was not the only one who took that view. According to Pawley and Smith, Roy R. Rubottom, Assistant Secretary of State for Latin American Affairs, John L. Topping, Chief of the Political Section and the Chief of the CIA Section, held similar opinions. Pawley and Smith also identified Herbert L. Matthews of the New York Times as being an important figure in providing support for the idea of regime change in Cuba. Smith pointed out that “Matthews wrote three articles on Fidel Castro, which appeared on the front page of the New York Times, in which he eulogized Fidel Castro and portrayed him as a political Robin Hood.

On 9th December, 1958, Pawley had a meeting with Fulgencio Batista. Pawley told Batista that he was losing the support of the American government. Pawley suggested that the Cuban dictator should resign and allow an anti-Castro and anti-Batista caretaker junta to take over. Batista rejected the idea and on 14th December, William A. Wieland, speaking for the State Department instructed Earl E. T. Smith, to inform Batista that he no longer had the support of the US government and that he should leave Cuba at once. On 1st January, 1959, Batista fled to the Dominican Republic.

Cuban Revolution

Cuban Revolution

Pawley later told a Senate Committee on Latin American Affairs: “I believe that the deliberate overthrow of Batista by Wieland and Matthews, assisted by Rubottom, is almost as great a tragedy as the surrendering of China to the Communists by a similar group of Department of State officials fifteen or sixteen years ago and we will not see the end in cost of American lives and American recourses for these tragic errors.” After Batista was overthrown by Fidel Castro, Pawley pressurized President Dwight Eisenhower to provide military and financial help to anti-Castro Cubans based in the United States. Recently released FBI files suggest he worked closely with Manuel Artime in efforts to overthrow Castro.

In the winter of 1962 Eddie Bayo claimed that two officers in the Red Army based in Cuba wanted to defect to the United States. Bayo added that these men wanted to pass on details about atomic warheads and missiles that were still in Cuba despite the agreement that followed the Cuban Missile Crisis. Bayo had originally fought with Fidel Castro against Fulgencio Batista. He disagreed with Castro’s policies after he gained power and moved to Miami and helped establish Alpha 66. His story was eventually taken up by several members of the anti-Castro community including Gerry P. Hemming, John Martino, Felipe Vidal Santiago and Frank Sturgis. Pawley became convinced that it was vitally important to help get these Soviet officers out of Cuba. To help this happen he communicated with James Eastland, the chairman of the Senate Internal Security Subcommittee, about this story.

CIA Chief Ted Shackley

CIA Chief Ted Shackley

Pawley also contacted Ted Shackley, head of the CIA’s JM WAVE station in Miami. Shackley decided to help Pawley organize what became known as Operation Tilt. He also assigned William (Rip) Robertson, a fellow member of the CIA in Miami, to help with the operation. David Sanchez Morales, another CIA agent, also became involved in this attempt to bring out these two Soviet officers. In June, 1963, a small group, including Pawley, Eddie Bayo, William (Rip) Robertson, John Martino, and Richard Billings, a journalist working for Life Magazine, secretly arrived in Cuba. They were unsuccessful in their attempts to find these Soviet officers and they were forced to return to Miami. Bayo remained behind and it was rumored that he had been captured and executed. However, his death was never reported in the Cuban press.

William Pawley died of gunshot wounds in January, 1977. Officially it was suicide but some researchers believe it was connected to the investigations being carried out by the House Select Committee on Assassinations. However, a relative Cash Pawley, has argued: “Bill Pawley had acquired a severe case of Shingles years earlier, which had progressed across his entire body (even the soles of his feet). He had been unable to lay down, stand or become comfortable in any position. The pain was excruciating, and there was no modern medicine(s) for a cure or even proper pain management at the time. Therefore, Mr. Pawley suffered day in and day out, until he just could not do it anymore. This was the reason for his suicide.”

Bay of Pigs

Bay of Pigs


Operation J/M-Wave

Location of J/M-Wave

Location of J/M-Wave

JM WAVE was the Central Intelligence Agency station in Florida. Located south of Miami in a heavily wooded 1,571-acre tract. The numerous buildings were said to belong to Zenith Technological Enterprises.

After the Bay of Pigs disaster President John F. Kennedy created a committee (SGA) charged with overthrowing Castro’s government. The SGA, chaired by Robert F. Kennedy (Attorney General), included John McCone (CIA Director), McGeorge Bundy (National Security Adviser), Alexis Johnson (State Department), Roswell Gilpatric (Defence Department), General Lyman Lemnitzer (Joint Chiefs of Staff) and General Maxwell Taylor. Although not officially members, Dean Rusk (Secretary of State) and Robert S. McNamara (Secretary of Defence) also attending meetings.

At a meeting of this committee at the White House on 4th November, 1961, it was decided to call this covert action program for sabotage and subversion against Cuba, Operation Mongoose. Attorney General Robert F. Kennedy also decided that General Edward Lansdale (Staff Member of the President’s Committee on Military Assistance) should be placed in charge of the operation.

The CIA JM WAVE station in Miami served as operational headquarters for Operation Mongoose. The head of the station was Ted Shackley and over the next few months became very involved in the attempt to overthrow Fidel Castro. One of Lansdale’s first decisions was to appoint William Harvey as head of Task Force W. Harvey’s brief was to organize a broad range of activities that would help to bring down Castro’s government. By the spring of 1962, JM/WAVE employed more than 200 CIA officers. They in turn ran over 2,200 Cuban agents. JM/WAVE had a navy of over 100 craft, including the 174-foot Rex,that had the latest electronic equipment and 40-millimeter and 20-millimeter cannons. The CIA station also had a large number of V-20 Swift craft and access to F-105 Phantoms from nearby Homestead Air Force Base.

Gen. Edward Lansdale

Gen. Edward Lansdale

William Harvey was ordered to activate an assassination plot against Fidel Castro. This became known as the ZR/RIFLE project. Harvey arranged for David Sanchez Morales to move from Mexico City to join the project based at the JM WAVE station. In the winter of 1962 Eddie Bayo claimed that two officers in the Red Army based in Cuba wanted to defect to the United States. Bayo added that these men wanted to pass on details about atomic warheads and missiles that were still in Cuba despite the agreement that followed the Cuban Missile Crisis.

Bayo’s story was eventually taken up by several members of the anti-Castro community including William Pawley, Gerry P. Hemming, John Martino, Felipe Vidal Santiago and Frank Sturgis. Pawley became convinced that it was vitally important to help get these Soviet officers out of Cuba.

William Pawley contacted Ted Shackley, the head at JM WAVE. Shackley decided to help Pawley organize what became known as Operation Tilt. He also assigned Rip Robertson, a fellow member of the CIA in Miami, to help with the operation. David Sanchez Morales, another CIA agent, also became involved in this attempt to bring out these two Soviet officers. In June, 1963, a small group, including William Pawley, Eddie Bayo, Rip Robertson, John Martino, and Richard Billings, a journalist working for Life Magazine, secretly arrived in Cuba. They were unsuccessful in their attempts to find these Soviet officers and they were forced to return to Miami. Bayo remained behind and it was rumoured that he had been captured and executed. However, his death was never reported in the Cuban press.

The Green Chazzan 

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Required Reading – Operation Jedburgh and OSS China – Part 3

EDITOR: Thomas Corcoran was the original bagman for the Jedburgh Teams and was their main connection to members of the oligarchical establishment. He was the creator of OSS China and masterminded the opium-for-guns trade out of Southeast Asia. Corcoran had very strong political connections in both the Democratic and Republican parties and was often able to use the CIA to support his war profiteering and drug trafficking efforts. Corcoran was also one of the main operatives behind the notorious United Fruit Company in Central America and also shared an active role in the Bay of Pigs.

Excerpts from Operation Jedburgh

by John Simkin (1997) – Part 3

Jedburgh Team Profiles

Tommy Corcoran

Tommy Corcoran

Tommy Corcoran

Thomas Corcoran, the son of a lawyer, was born in Rhode Island on 29th December, 1899. He was educated at Brown University and Harvard Law School. Corcoran’s most important influence at university was Professor Felix Frankfurter. He wrote that Corcoran was “struggling very hard with the burden of inferiority imposed on him because of his Irish Catholicism”. Frankfurter was impressed with Corcoran’s progress and introduced him to his close friend, Supreme Court Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes. After graduating in 1926 he was invited by Holmes to become his legal clerk.

In 1927 Corcoran joined the law firm established by William McAdoo. At the time it was run by George Franklin and Joseph Cotton. In 1932 Eugene Meyer, chairman of the Federal Reserve Board, was looking for a general counsel for the newly established Reconstruction Finance Corporation. After talks with Franklin he appointed Corcoran to this post. Meyer resigned in 1933 and was replaced by Jesse H. Jones. After Franklin D. Roosevelt defeated Herbert Hoover he asked Felix Frankfurter to assemble a legal team to review the nation’s securities laws. Frankfurter selected Corcoran, Benjamin Cohen and James Landis for the task. Corcoran, a member of the Democratic Party, readily accepted the post. Together they drafted the legislation that created the Securities and Exchange Commission.


William E. Leuchtenburg, the author of Franklin D. Roosevelt and the New Deal (1963), has pointed out: “Corcoran was a new political type: the expert who not only drafted legislation but maneuvered it through the treacherous corridors of Capitol Hill.” Ray S. Cline added: “Corcoran… says that his greatest contribution to government in his long career was helping infiltrate smart young Harvard Law School products into every agency of government. He felt the United States needed to develop a highly educated, highly motivated public service corps that had not existed before Roosevelt’s time.”

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Corcoran also became involved in advising Franklin D. Roosevelt over foreign policy. Although he had liberal views on domestic issues, Corcoran was passionately anti-communist. This was partly because of his Roman Catholicism. Roosevelt initially favoured giving help to the Republican government in Spain. However, Corcoran was a supporter of the fascist movement led by General Francisco Franco. As Drew Pearson and Jack Anderson pointed out in their book, The Case Against Congress: A Compelling Indictment of Corruption on Capitol Hill: “Long before Pope John and Pope Paul made it clear they were not in sympathy with the Catholic hierarchy of Spain, the reactionary wing of the Catholic Church in the United States had been conducting one of the most efficient lobbies ever to operate on Capital Hill. It was able to reverse completely American policy on Spain. During the Spanish Civil War, Thomas G. Corcoran, a member of the Roosevelt brain trust, worked effectively at the White House to keep an embargo on all U.S. arms to both sides.”

Corcoran knew that Adolf Hitler and Benito Mussolini would continue to provide both men and arms to Francisco Franco. Roosevelt’s decision enabled fascism to win in Spain and become entrenched in Europe. Roosevelt later told his cabinet that he had made a “grave mistake” with respect to neutrality in the Spanish Civil War. Roosevelt was angry with Tommy Corcoran over his advice on Spain. He also began to see that Corcoran was becoming a problem for the administration. He had upset a lot of powerful figures in Congress with his arm twisting tactics. Corcoran had also tried to unseat those who attempted to resist Franklin D. Roosevelt. For example, Walter George of Georgia claimed that Corcoran had the “power of saying who shall be a senator and who shall not be a senator.”

Franklin Delano Roosevelt

Franklin Delano Roosevelt

One day in early October 1940, Franklin D. Roosevelt told Corcoran that he wanted him to resign from the administration. He wanted him to carry out a covert mission and it was “too politically dangerous” to do this while serving in his government.

Roosevelt believed that the best way of stopping Japanese imperialism in Asia was to arm the Chinese government of Chiang Kai-shek. However, Congress was opposed to this idea as it was feared that this help might trigger a war with Japan. Therefore, Roosevelt’s plan was for Corcoran to establish a private corporation as OSS China to provide assistance to the nationalist government in China. Roosevelt even supplied the name of the proposed company, China Defense Supplies. He also suggested that his uncle, Frederick Delano, should be co-chairman of the company. Chiang nominated his former finance minister, Tse-ven Soong, as the other co-chairman. For reasons of secrecy, Corcoran took no title other than outside counsel for China Defense Supplies. William S. Youngman was his frontman in China. Corcoran’s friend, Whitey Willauer, was moved to the Foreign Economic Administration, where he supervised the sending of supplies to China. In this way Corcoran was able to create an Asian Lend-Lease program.


Tommy Corcoran had originally been an isolationist. However, he now knew that he could make a fortune out of the arms trade. His first major client was Henry J. Kaiser, a successful businessman from California. Corcoran had helped Kaiser obtain lucrative government contracts while working for the Reconstruction Finance Corporation. Kaiser paid Corcoran a retainer of $25,000 a year. Corcoran then introduced Kaiser to William S. Knudsen, head of the Office of Production Management. Over the next few years Kaiser obtained $645 million in building contracts at his ten shipyards. Kaiser’s two main business partners were Stephen D. Bechtel and John A. McCone. Kaiser had worked with Bechtel in the 1930s to build many of the major roads throughout California. In 1937 McCone became president of Bechtel-McCone. On the outbreak of the Second World War McCone joined forces with Kaiser and Bechtel to establish the California Shipbuilding Company. With the help of Corcoran, the company obtained large government contracts to build ships. In 1946 it was reported that the company had made $44 million in wartime profits.


Corcoran’s work with China Defense Supplies caused some disquiet in Roosevelt’s administration. Henry Morgenthau was a prominent critic. He argued that in effect, Corcoran was running an off-the-books operation in which a private company was diverting some of the war material destined for China to a private army, the American Volunteer Group. Resistance also came from General George Marshall and General Joseph Stilwell, the American commander in Asia. Marshall and Stilwell both believed that Chiang Kai-shek was completely corrupt and needed to be forced into introducing reforms. Stilwell complained about Corcoran’s ability to present Chiang in the best possible light with Roosevelt. Stilwell wrote to Marshall that the “continued publication of Chungking propaganda in the United States is an increasing handicap to my work.” He added, “we can pull them out of this cesspool, but continued concessions have made the Generalissimo believe he has only to insist and we will yield.”

Chiang Kai-Shek

Chiang Kai-Shek

Corcoran was also coming under pressure from the work he was doing for Sterling Pharmaceutical. His brother, David worked for the company and was responsible for getting Corcoran the contract. However, it was revealed in 1940 that Sterling Pharmaceutical had strong links with I. G. Farben. The FBI discovered that Sterling had conspired with Farben to control the sale of aspirin. In other words, had formed an aspirin cartel. According to one FBI report, Sterling were employing Nazi sympathizers in its offices in Latin America. Rumours began to circulate that Burton Wheeler would announce that he was appointing a subcommittee to investigate the relations between American and German firms. Assistant Attorney General Thurman Arnold announced he was ready to prosecute any American company aiding and abetting a German company in any part of the world. On 10th April, 1941, the Department of Justice issued subpoenas to Sterling Pharmaceutical. Soon afterwards newspapers began to run negative stories about the company. One claimed that Sterling was helping the Nazi propagandist Joseph Goebbels fulfill his pledge that “Americans would help Hitler win the Americas.”

On 2nd June, 1941, Roosevelt appointed Francis B. Biddle as his new Attorney General. Biddle was a close friend of Corcoran’s. The day after his appointment, Biddle accepted a settlement offer from Sterling in which the company would pay a fine of five thousand dollars. Later, it was agreed that Sterling would abrogate all contracts with I. G. Farben. In Congress there was speeches made calling for an investigation into the role played by Corcoran in protecting the interests of Sterling Pharmaceutical. Senator Lawrence Smith argued: “It is common gossip in government circles that the long arm of Tommy Corcoran reaches into many agencies; that he has placed many men in important positions and they in turn are amenable to his influences.”

IG Farben

IG Farben

After the United States entered the war against Japan, Germany and Italy, President Franklin D. Roosevelt established the Office of Strategic Services (OSS). Roosevelt selected Colonel William Donovan as the first director of the organization, who had spent some time studying the Special Operations Executive (SOE), an organization set up by the British government in July 1940. The OSS had responsibility for collecting and analyzing information about countries at war with the United States. The OSS gradually took over the activities that Corcoran had helped set up in China. In 1943 OSS agents based in China included Paul Helliwell, E. Howard Hunt, Mitch Werbell, Lucien Conein, John Singlaub and Ray Cline. According to an article in the Wall Street Journal, some OSS members in China were paid for their work with five-pound sacks of opium.


One month after the dropping the atom bomb on Hiroshima and Nagasaki, Tommy Corcoran joined with David Corcoran and William S. Youngman to create a Panamanian company, Rio Carthy, for the purpose of pursuing business ventures in Asia and South America. Soon afterwards, Claire Lee Chennault and Whiting Willauer approached Corcoran with the idea of creating a commercial airline in China to compete with CNAC and CATC. Corcoran agreed to use Rio Cathy as the legal vehicle for investing in the airline venture. Chiang Kai-shek agreed that his government would invest in the airline. Corcoran anticipated he would own 37% of the equity in the airline, but Chennault and Willauer gave a greater percentage to the Chinese government, and Corcoran’s share dropped to 28%.

Civil Air Transport (CAT) was officially launched on 29th January, 1946. Corcoran approached his old friend Fiorella LaGuardia, the director general of the United Nations Relief and Rehabilitation Administration (UNRRA). He agreed to award a $4 million contract to deliver relief to China. This contract kept them going for the first year but as the civil war intensified, CAT had difficulty maintaining its routes. The OSS had been disbanded in October 1945 and was replaced by the War Department’s Strategic Service Unit (SSU). Paul Helliwell became chief of the Far East Division of the SSU. In 1947 the SSU was replaced by the Central Intelligence Agency.


CAT needed another major customer and on 6th July, 1947, Corcoran and Claire Lee Chennault had a meeting with Roscoe H. Hillenkoetter, the new director of the CIA. Hillenkoetter arranged for Corcoran to meet Frank Wisner, the director of the Office of Policy Coordination. Wisner was in charge of the CIA’s covert operations. On 1st November, 1948, Corcoran signed a formal agreement with the CIA. The agreement committed the agency to provide up to $500,000 to finance an CAT airbase, and $200,000 to fly agency personnel and equipment in and out of the mainland, and to underwrite any shortfall that might result from any hazardous mission. Over the next few months CAT airlifted personnel and equipment from Chungking, Kweilin, Luchnow, Nanking, and Amoy.

In 1948, Lyndon B. Johnson decided to make a second run for the U.S. Senate. His main opponent in the Democratic primary (Texas was virtually a one party state and the most important elections were those that decided who would be the Democratic Party candidate) was Coke Stevenson. Johnson was criticized by Stevenson for supporting the Taft-Hartley Act. The American Federation of Labor was also angry with Johnson for supporting this legislation and at its June convention the AFL broke a 54 year tradition of neutrality and endorsed Stevenson. Johnson asked Tommy Corcoran to work behind the scenes at convincing union leaders that he was more pro-labor than Stevenson. This he did and on 11th August, 1948, Corcoran told Harold Ickes that he had “a terrible time straightening out labor” in the Johnson campaign but he believed he had sorted the problem out.

Jorge Ubico

Jorge Ubico

In 1949 Sam Zemurray asked Corcoran to join the United Fruit Company as a lobbyist and special counsel. Zemurray had problems with his business in Guatemala. In the 1930s Zemurray aligned United Fruit closely with the government of President Jorge Ubico. The company received import duty and real estate tax exemptions from Ubico. He also gave them hundreds of square miles of land. United Fruit controlled more land than any other individual or group. It also owned the railway, the electric utilities, telegraph, and the country’s only port at Puerto Barrios on the Atlantic coast. Ubico was overthrown in 1944 and following democratic elections, Juan Jose Arevalo became the new president. Arevalo, a university professor who had been living in exile, described himself as a “spiritual socialist”. He implemented sweeping reforms by passing new laws that gave workers the right to form unions. This included the 40,000 Guatemalans who worked for United Fruit.

Zemurray feared that Arevalo would also nationalize the land owned by United Fruit in Guatemala. He asked Corcoran to express his fears to senior political figures in Washington. Corcoran began talks with key people in the government agencies and departments that shaped U.S. policy in Central America. He argued that the U.S. should use United Fruit as an American beachhead against communism in the region.

Chief of OSS China - Paul Helliwell

Chief of OSS China – Paul Helliwell

In January, 1950, Civil Air Transport (CAT) relocated its base of operations to the island of Formosa, where Chiang Kai-shek had established his new government. The following month, the Soviet Union and China signed a mutual defense pact. Two weeks later, President Harry S. Truman signed National Security Directive 64, which stated that “it is important to United states security interests that all practical measures be taken to prevent further communist expansion in Southeast Asia.”

The support of the government in Formosa was to become a key aspect of this policy. In February 1950, Frank Wisner began negotiating with Corcoran for the purchase of CAT. “In March, using a ‘cutout’ banker or middleman, the CIA paid CAT $350,000 to clear up arrearages, $400,000 for future operations, and a $1 million option on the business. The money was then divided among the airline’s owners, with Corcoran and Youngman receiving more than $100,000 for six years of legal fees, and Corcoran, Youngman, and David Corcoran dividing approximately $225,000 from the sale of the airline.” Paul Helliwell was put in charge of this operation. His deputy was Desmond FitzGerald. Helliwell’s main job was to help Chiang Kai-shek to prepare for a future invasion of Communist China. The CIA created a pair of front companies to supply and finance the surviving forces of Chiang’s KMT. Helliwell w as put in charge of this operation. This included establishing the Sea Supply Corporation, a shipping company in Bangkok.

The CIA now launched a secret war against China. An office under commercial cover called Western Enterprises was opened on Taiwan. Training and operational bases were established in Taiwan and other offshore islands. By 1951 Chiang Kai-shek claimed to have more than a million active guerrillas in China. However, according to John Prados, “ United States intelligence estimates at the time carried the more conservative figure of 600,000 or 650,000, only half of whom could be considered loyal to Taiwan.”

After the war Tommy Corcoran continued his work as a paid lobbyist for Sam Zemurray and the United Fruit Company. Zemurray became concerned that Captain Jacobo Arbenz, one of the heroes of the 1944 revolution, would be elected as the new president of Guatemala. In the spring of 1950, Corcoran went to see Thomas C. Mann, the director of the State Department’s Office of Inter-American Affairs. Corcoran asked Mann if he had any plans to prevent Arbenz from being elected. Mann replied: “That is for the people of that country to decide.”

Allen Dulles

Allen Dulles

Unhappy with this reply, Corcoran paid a call on the Allen Dulles, the deputy director of the CIA. Dulles, who represented United Fruit in the 1930s, was far more interested in Corcoran’s ideas. “During their meeting Dulles explained to Corcoran that while the CIA was sympathetic to United Fruit, he could not authorize any assistance without the support of the State Department. Dulles assured Corcoran, however, that whoever was elected as the next president of Guatemala would not be allowed to nationalize the operations of United Fruit.”


However, political groups continued to resort to violence and in 1949 Major Francisco Arana was murdered. The following year Arbenz defeated Manuel Ygidoras to become Guatemala’s new president. Arbenz, who obtained 65% of the votes, took power on 15th March, 1951. Corcoran then recruited Robert La Follette to work for United Fruit. Corcoran arranged for La Follette to lobby liberal members of Congress. The message was that Arbenz was not a liberal but a dangerous left-wing radical.This strategy was successful and Congress was duly alarmed when on 17th June, 1952, Arbenz announced a new Agrarian Reform program . This included expropriating idle land on government and private estates and redistributed to peasants in lots of 8 to 33 acres. The Agrarian Reform program managed to give 1.5 million acres to around 100,000 families for which the government paid $8,345,545 in bonds. Among the expropriated landowners was Arbenz himself, who had become into a landowner with the dowry of his wealthy wife. Around 46 farms were given to groups of peasants who organized themselves in cooperatives.

In March 1953, 209,842 acres of United Fruit Company’s uncultivated land was taken by the government which offered compensation of $525,000. The company wanted $16 million for the land. While the Guatemalan government valued $2.99 per acre, the American government valued it at $75 per acre. As David McKean has pointed out: This figure was “in line with the company’s own valuation of the property, at least for tax purposes”. However, the company wanted $16 million for the land. While the Guatemalan government valued it at $2.99 per acre, the company now valued it at $75 per acre.

Anastasio Somoza

Anastasio Somoza

Corcoran contacted President Anastasio Somoza and warned him that the Guatemalan revolution might spread to Nicaragua. Somoza now made representations to Harry S. Truman about what was happening in Guatemala. After discussions with Walter Bedell Smith, director of the CIA, a secret plan to overthrow Arbenz (Operation Fortune) was developed. Part of this plan involved Tommy Corcoran arranging for small arms and ammunition to be loaded on a United Fruit freighter and shipped to Guatemala, where the weapons would be distributed to dissidents. When the Secretary of State Dean Acheson discovered details of Operation Fortune, he had a meeting with Truman where he vigorously protested about the involvement of United Fruit and the CIA in the attempted overthrow of the democratically elected President Jacobo Arbenz. As a result of Acheson’s protests, Truman ordered the postponement of Operation Fortune.

Jacobo Arbenz

Jacobo Arbenz

Tommy Corcoran’s work was made easier by the election of Dwight Eisenhower in November, 1952. Eisenhower’s personal secretary was Anne Whitman, the wife of Edmund Whitman, United Fruit’s public relations director. Eisenhower appointed John Peurifoy as ambassador to Guatemala. He soon made it clear that he believed that the Arbenz government posed a threat to the America’s campaign against communism.

Corcoran also arranged for Whiting Willauer, his friend and partner in Civil Air Transport, to become U.S. ambassador to Honduras. As Willauer pointed out in a letter to Claire Lee Chennault, he worked day and night to arrange training sites and instructors plus air crews for the rebel air force, and to keep the Honduran government “in line so they would allow the revolutionary activity to continue.” Eisenhower also replaced Dean Acheson with John Foster Dulles. His brother, Allen Dulles became director of the CIA. The Dulles brothers “had sat on the board of United Fruit’s partner in the banana monopoly, the Schroder Banking Corporation” whereas “U.N. Ambassador Henry Cabot Lodge was a stockholder and had been a strong defender of United Fruit while a U.S. senator.”



Walter Bedell Smith was moved to the State Department. Smith told Corcoran he would do all he could to help in the overthrow of Arbenz. He added that he would like to work for United Fruit once he retired from government office. This request was granted and Bedell Smith was later to become a director of United Fruit. According to John Prados, the author of The Presidents’ Secret War, Corcoran’s meeting with “Undersecretary of State Walter Bedell Smith that summer and that conversation is recalled by CIA officers as the clear starting point of that plan.” Evan Thomas, the author of The Very Best Me; Daring Early Years of the CIA (2007) has added that: “With his usual energy and skill, Corcoran beseeched the U. S. government to overthrow Arbenz”.

The new CIA plan to overthrow Jacobo Arbenz was called “Operation Success”. Allen Dulles became the executive agent and arranged for Tracey Barnes and Richard Bissell to plan and execute the operation. Bissell later claimed that he had been aware of the problem since reading a document published by the State Department that claimed: “The communists already exercise in Guatemala a political influence far out of proportion to their small numerical strength. This influence will probably continue to grow during 1952. The political situation in Guatemala adversely effects U. S. interests and constitutes a potential threat to U.S. security.” Bissell does not point out that the source of this information was Tommy Corcoran and the United Fruit Company.

Allen W Dulles

Allen W Dulles

John Prados argues that it was Barnes and Bissell who “coordinated the Washington end of the planning and logistics for the Guatemala operation.” As Deputy Director for Plans, it was Frank Wisner’s responsibility to select the field commander for Operation Success. Kim Roosevelt was first choice but he turned it down and instead the job went to Albert Hanley, the CIA station Chief in Korea. Hanley was told to report to Joseph Caldwell King, director of the CIA’s Western Hemisphere Division. King had previously worked for the FBI where he had responsibility for all intelligence operations in Latin America. King suggested Hanley meet Tommy Corcoran. Hanley did not like the idea. King replied: “If you think you can run this operation without United Fruit you’re crazy.” Although Hanley refused to work with Corcoran, Allen Dulles kept him fully informed of the latest developments in planning the overthrow of Arbenz.


Tracey Barnes brought in David Atlee Phillips to run a “black” propaganda radio station. According to Phillips, he was reluctant to take part in the overthrow of a democratically elected president. Barnes replied: “It’s not a question of Arbenz. Nor of Guatemala. We have solid intelligence that the Soviets intended to throw substantial support to Arbenz… Guatemala is bordered by Honduras, British Honduras, Salvador and Mexico. It’s unacceptable to have a Commie running Guatemala.”

Barnes also appointed E. Howard Hunt as chief of political action. In his autobiography, Undercover (1975), Hunt claims that “Barnes swore me to special secrecy and revealed that the National Security Council under Eisenhower and Vice President Nixon had ordered the overthrow of Guatemala’s Communist regime.” Hunt was not convinced by this explanation. He pointed out that 18 months previously he had suggested to the director of the CIA that Arbenz needed to be dealt with. However, the idea had been rejected. Hunt was now told that: “ Washington lawyer Thomas G. Corcoran had, among his clients, the United Fruit Company. United Fruit, like many American corporations in Guatemala had watched with growing dismay nationalization, confiscation and other strong measures affecting their foreign holdings. Finally a land-reform edict issued by Arbenz proved the final straw, and Tommy the Cork had begun lobbying in behalf of United Fruit and against Arbenz. Following this special impetus our project had been approved by the National Security Council and was already under way.”

John Foster Dulles

John Foster Dulles

Albert Hanley brought in Rip Robertson to take charge of the paramilitary side of the operation. Robertson had been Hanley’s deputy in Korea and had “enjoyed going along on the behind-the-lines missions with the CIA guerrillas, in violation of standing orders from Washington.” One of those who worked with Robertson in Operation Success was David Morales. Also in the team was Henry Hecksher, who operated under cover in Guatemala to supply front-line reports.John Foster Dulles decided that he “needed a civilian adviser to the State Department team to help expediate Operation Success. Dulles chose a friend of Corcoran’s, William Pawley, a Miami-based millionaire”. David McKean goes on to point out that Pawley had worked with Corcoran, Chennault and Willauer in helping to set up the Flying Tigers and in transforming Civil Air Transport into a CIA airline. McKean adds that his most important qualification for the job was his “long association with right-wing Latin America dictators.”

The rebel “liberation army” was formed and trained in Nicaragua. This was not a problem as President Anastasio Somoza and been warning the United States government since 1952 that that the Guatemalan revolution might spread to Nicaragua. The rebel army of 150 men were trained by Rip Robertson. Their commander was a disaffected Guatemalan army officer, Carlos Castillo Armas. It was clear that a 150 man army was unlikely to be able to overthrow the Guatemalan government. Tracey Barnes believed that if the rebels could gain control of the skies and bomb Guatemala City, they could create panic and Arbenz might be fooled into accepting defeat.

Area of CIA activities in the 1950's

Area of CIA activities in the 1950’s

According to Richard Bissell, Somoza was willing to provide cover for this covert operation. However, this was on the understanding that these aircraft would be provided by the United States. Dwight Eisenhower agreed to supply Somoza with a “small pirate air force to bomb Arbenz into submission”. To fly these planes, the CIA recruited American mercenaries like Jerry DeLarm. Before the bombing of Guatemala City, the rebel army was moved to Honduras where Tommy Corcoran’s business partner, Whiting Willauer, was ambassador. The plan was for them to pretend to be the “vanguard of a much larger army seeking to liberate their homeland from the Marxists”.

Arbenz became aware of this CIA plot to overthrow him. Guatemalan police made several arrests. In his memoirs, Eisenhower described these arrests as a “reign of terror” and falsely claimed that “agents of international Communism in Guatemala continued their efforts to penetrate and subvert their neighboring Central American states, using consular agents for their political purposes and fomenting political assassinations and strikes.” Sydney Gruson of the New York Times began to investigate this story. Journalists working for Time Magazine also tried to write about these attempts to destabilize Arbenz’s government. Frank Wisner, head of Operation Mockingbird, asked Allen Dulles to make sure that the American public never discovered the plot to overthrow Arbenz. Arthur Hays Sulzberger, the publisher of the New York Times, agreed to stop Gruson from writing the story. Henry Luce was also willing to arrange for the Time Magazine reports to be rewritten at the editorial offices in New York.

CIA Stations

CIA Stations

The CIA propaganda campaign included the distribution of 100,000 copies of a pamphlet entitled Chronology of Communism in Guatemala . They also produced three films on Guatemala for showing free in cinemas. Faked photographs were distributed that claimed to show the mutilated bodies of opponents of Arbenz. David Atlee Phillips and E. Howard Hunt were responsible for running the CIA’s Voice of Liberation radio station. Broadcasts began on 1 st May, 1954. They also arranged for the distribution of posters and pamphlets. Over 200 articles based on information provided by the CIA were placed in newspapers and magazines by the United States Information Agency.

The Voice of Liberation reported massive defections from Arbenz’s army. According to David Atlee Phillips the radio station “broadcast that two columns of rebel soldiers were converging on Guatemala City. In fact, Castillo Armas and his makeshift army were still encamped six miles inside the border, far from the capital.” As Phillips later admitted, the “highways were crowded, but with frightened citizens fleeing Guatemala City and not with soldiers approaching it.” As E. Howard Hunt pointed out, “our powerful transmitter overrode the Guatemalan national radio, broadcasting messages to confuse and divide the population from its military overlords.” There was no popular uprising. On 20 th June, the CIA reported to Dwight Eisenhower that Castillo Armas had not been able to take his assigned objective, Zacapa. His seaborne force had also failed to capture Puerto Barrios.

According to John Prados, it all now depended on “Whiting Willauer’s rebel air force”. However, that was not going to plan and on 27th June, Winston Churchill, the British prime minister berated Eisenhower when a CIA plane sank a British merchant vessel heading for Guatemala. The bombing had been ordered by Rip Robertson without first gaining permission from the CIA or Eisenhower. Robertson had been convinced that the Springfjord was a “Czech arms carrying freighter”. In reality it had been carrying only coffee and cotton. Frank Wisner had to make a personal apology for the incident and the CIA later quietly reimbursed Lloyd’s of London, insurers of the Springfjord , the $1.5 million they had paid out on the ship.


Arbenz had been convinced by the Voice of Liberation reports that his army was deserting. Richard Bissell believes that this is when Arbenz made his main mistake. Jacobo Arbenz decided to distribute weapons to the “people’s organizations and the political parties”. As Bissell later explained: “The conservative men who constituted the leadership of Guatemala’s army viewed this action as the final unacceptable leftward lurch, and they told Arbenz they would no longer support him. He resigned and fled to Mexico.” President Harry Truman became highly suspicious of Corcoran’s activities and he arranged for FBI Director J. Edgar Hoover to place a tap on his phone. Despite his shady business dealings he was never convicted of a criminal offence. Thomas Corcoran died on 7th December, 1981.

Robert Dallek, Lone Star Rising: Lyndon Johnson and His Times (1991)

Robert A. Caro, Lyndon Johnson: Master of the Senate (2002)

Ray S. Cline, Secrets, Spies and Scholars: Blueprint of the Essential CIA (1976)

David McKean, Peddling Influence (2004)

William E. Leuchtenburg, Franklin D. Roosevelt and the New Deal (1963)



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Required Reading: Operation Jedburgh and OSS China – Part 2

EDITOR: Richard Helms, the former CIA director was actively involved in expanding Consortium narcotics activities prior to and during the Vietnam War. He was a key figure for the Bay of Pigs invasion, The Consortium strongly desired an attack on Cuba because Fidel Castro had confiscated a large portion of Consortium Gold that had been laundered into Cuba by the Italian Mafia under the previous regime. Helms was also actively involved in setting up the South American Cocaine Networks through assassination programs during the Nixon Administration. E. Howard Hunt was a major suspect in the JFK Assassination Investigation and was a top level operative in the Nixon White House. Hunt played a major role in carrying out the dirty work of the Nixon Administration and was directly involved in the Watergate cover-up and subsequent investigation. Hunt played a major role in facilitating DEA activities in South America.

Excerpts from Operation Jedburgh

by John Simkin (1997) – Part 2

Jedburgh Team Profiles

Richard Helms

Richard Helms

Richard Helms

Richard Helms was born in St Davids, Philadelphia, on 30th March, 1913. After graduating from Williams College, Massachusetts, he joined the United Press news agency and in 1936 was sent to Nazi Germany to cover the Berlin Olympic Games. On his return to the United States he joined the advertising department of the Indianapolis Times. Two years later he became national advertising manager. After the bombing of Pearl Harbor Helms joined the United States Navy. In August, 1943, he was transferred to the Office of Strategic Services (OSS) that had made established by William Donovan. The OSS had responsibility for collecting and analyzing information about countries at war with the United States. It also helped to organize guerrilla fighting, sabotage and espionage.



After the surrender of Germany in 1945, Helms helped interview suspected Nazi war criminals. Helms remained in the OSS and in 1946 was put in charge of intelligence and counter-intelligence activities in Germany, Austria and Switzerland. The following year Helms joined the recently formed Central Intelligence Agency (CIA). His first task was to mount a mount a massive convert campaign against the Communist Party during the Italian General Election. This was highly successful and this encouraged President Harry S. Truman to establish the Office of Policy Coordination (OPC), an organization instructed to conduct covert anti-Communist operations around the world. In August, 1952, OPC and the Office of Special Operations (the espionage division) were merged to form the Directorate of Plans (DPP).

Frank Wisner was appointed head of the DPP and he appointed Helms as his chief of operations. In December, 1956, Wisner suffered a mental breakdown and was diagnosed as suffering from manic depression. During his absence Wisner’s job was covered by Helms. The CIA sent Wisner to the Sheppard-Pratt Institute, a psychiatric hospital near Baltimore. He was prescribed psychoanalysis and shock therapy (electroconvulsive treatment). It was not successful and still suffering from depression, he was released from hospital in 1958.

Allen W Dulles

Allen W Dulles

Wisner was too ill to return to his post as head of the DDP. Allen W. Dulles therefore sent him to London to be CIA chief of station in England. Dulles decided that Richard Bissell rather than Helms should become the new head of the DPP. Helms was named as his deputy. Together they became responsible for what became known as the CIA’s Black Operations. This involved a policy that was later to become known as Executive Action (a plan to remove unfriendly foreign leaders from power). This including a coup d’état that overthrew the Guatemalan government of Jacobo Arbenz in 1954 after he introduced land reforms and nationalized the United Fruit Company.

Other political leaders deposed by Executive Action included Patrice Lumumba of the Congo, the Dominican Republic dictator Rafael Trujillo, General Abd al-Karim Kassem of Iraq and Ngo Dinh Diem, the leader of South Vietnam. However, his main target was Fidel Castro who had established a socialist government in Cuba. In March I960, President Dwight Eisenhower of the United States approved a CIA plan to overthrow Castro. The plan involved a budget of $13 million to train “a paramilitary force outside Cuba for guerrilla action.” The strategy was organized by Bissell and Helms. An estimated 400 CIA officers were employed full-time to carry out what became known as Operation Mongoose. Sidney Gottlieb of the CIA Technical Services Division was asked to come up with proposals that would undermine Castro’s popularity with the Cuban people. Plans included a scheme to spray a television studio in which he was about to appear with an hallucinogenic drug and contaminating his shoes with thallium which they believed would cause the hair in his beard to fall out.

Fidel Castro

Fidel Castro

These schemes were rejected and instead Bissell and Helms decided to arrange the assassination of Fidel Castro. In September 1960, Bissell and Allen W. Dulles, the director of the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA), initiated talks with two leading figures of the Mafia, Johnny Roselli and Sam Giancana. Later, other crime bosses such as Carlos Marcello, Santos Trafficante and Meyer Lansky became involved in this plot against Castro. Robert Maheu, a veteran of CIA counter-espionage activities, was instructed to offer the Mafia $150,000 to kill Fidel Castro. The advantage of employing the Mafia for this work is that it provided CIA with a credible cover story. The Mafia were known to be angry with Castro for closing down their profitable brothels and casinos in Cuba. If the assassins were killed or captured the media would accept that the Mafia were working on their own.

The Federal Bureau of Investigation had to be brought into this plan as part of the deal involved protection against investigations against the Mafia in the United States. Castro was later to complain that there were twenty ClA-sponsored attempts on his life. Eventually Johnny Roselli and his friends became convinced that the Cuban revolution could not be reversed by simply removing its leader. However, they continued to play along with this CIA plot in order to prevent them being prosecuted for criminal offences committed in the United States.

Bay of Pigs

Bay of Pigs

When John F. Kennedy replaced Dwight Eisenhower as president of the United States he was told about the CIA plan to invade Cuba. Kennedy had doubts about the venture but he was afraid he would be seen as soft on communism if he refused permission for it to go ahead. Kennedy’s advisers convinced him that Fidel Castro was an unpopular leader and that once the invasion started the Cuban people would support the ClA-trained forces. On April 14, 1961, B-26 planes began bombing Cuba’s airfields. After the raids Cuba was left with only eight planes and seven pilots. Two days later five merchant ships carrying 1,400 Cuban exiles arrived at the Bay of Pigs. The attack was a total failure. Two of the ships were sunk, including the ship that was carrying most of the supplies. Two of the planes that were attempting to give air-cover were also shot down. Within seventy-two hours all the invading troops had been killed, wounded or had surrendered.

After the CIA’s internal inquiry into this fiasco, Allen W. Dulles was sacked by President John F. Kennedy and Richard Bissell was forced to resign. Helms now took over the Directorate for Plans. His deputy was Thomas H. Karamessines. Helms now introduced a campaign that involved covert attacks on the Cuban economy.


Ngo Dinh Diem, President of South Vietnam


In 1962 Helms became increasingly involved in the Vietnam War. By this time President John F. Kennedy was convinced that Ngo Dinh Diem would never be able to unite the South Vietnamese against communism. Several attempts had already been made to overthrow Diem but Kennedy had always instructed the CIA and the US military forces in Vietnam to protect him. Eventually, in order to obtain a more popular leader of South Vietnam, Kennedy agreed that the role of the CIA should change. Lucien Conein, a CIA operative, provided a group of South Vietnamese generals with $40,000 to carry out the coup with the promise that US forces would make no attempt to protect Diem. At the beginning of November, 1963, President Diem was overthrown by a military coup. The generals had promised Diem that he would be allowed to leave the country they changed their mind and killed him.



When John F. Kennedy was assassinated in Dallas, Helms was given the responsibility of investigating Lee Harvey Oswald and the CIA. Helms initially appointed John M. Whitten to undertake the agency’s in-house investigation. After talking to Winston Scott, the CIA station chief in Mexico City, Whitten discovered that Oswald had been photographed at the Cuban consulate in early October, 1963. Nor had Scott told Whitten, his boss, that Oswald had also visited the Soviet Embassy in Mexico. In fact, Whitten had not been informed of the existence of Oswald, even though there was a 201 pre-assassination file on him that had been maintained by the Counterintelligence/Special Investigative Group.

John M. Whitten and his staff of 30 officers, were sent a large amount of information from the FBI. According to Gerald D. McKnight “the FBI deluged his branch with thousands of reports containing bits and fragments of witness testimony that required laborious and time-consuming name checks.” Whitten later described most of this FBI material as “weirdo stuff”. As a result of this initial investigation, Whitten told Richard Helms that he believed that Oswald had acted alone in the assassination of John F. Kennedy. On 6th December, Nicholas Katzenbach invited John M. Whitten and Birch O’Neal, Angleton’s trusted deputy and senior Special Investigative Group (SIG) officer to read Commission Document 1 (CD1), the report that the FBI had written on Lee Harvey Oswald. Whitten now realized that the FBI had been withholding important information on Oswald from him. He also discovered that Richard Helms had not been providing him all of the agency’s available files on Oswald. This included Oswald’s political activities in the months preceding the assassination.

Whitten had a meeting where he argued that Oswald’s pro-Castro political activities needed closer examination, especially his attempt to shoot the right-wing General Edwin Walker, his relationship with anti-Castro exiles in New Orleans, and his public support for the pro-Castro Fair Play for Cuba Committee. Whitten added that has he had been denied this information, his initial conclusions on the assassination were “completely irrelevant.” Helms responded by taking Whitten off the case. James Jesus Angleton, chief of the CIA’s Counterintelligence Branch, was now put in charge of the investigation. According to Gerald McKnight (Breach of Trust) Angleton “wrested the CIA’s in-house investigation away from John Whitten because he either was convinced or pretended to believe that the purpose of Oswald’s trip to Mexico City had been to meet with his KGB handlers to finalize plans to assassinate Kennedy.”

Tet Offensive

Tet Offensive

President Lyndon B. Johnson appointed Admiral William Raborn, head of the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA). Helms became Raborn’s deputy but became increasingly influential over decisions being made in Vietnam. This included the covert action in neighboring Laos and the formation of South Vietnamese counter-terror teams. The following year Johnson promoted Helms to become head of the CIA. He was the first director of the organization to have worked his way up from the ranks. His standing with Johnson improved when he successfully predicted a quick victory for Israel during the Six Day War in June, 1967. However, Helms information about the size of enemy forces in Vietnam was less accurate. Johnson was told in November, 1967, that the North Vietnamese and Viet Cong forces had fallen to 248,000. In reality the true figure was close to 500,000 and United States troops were totally unprepared for the Tet Offensive.

Under President Richard Nixon, Helms agreed to implement what became known as the Huston Plan. This was a proposal for all the country’s security services to combine in a massive internal surveillance operation. In doing so, Helms became involved in a secret conspiracy as it was illegal for the Central Intelligence Agency to operate within the United States. In 1970 it seemed that Salvador Allende and his Socialist Workers’ Party would win the general election in Chile. Various multinational companies, including International Telephone and Telegraph (ITT), feared what would happen if Allende gained control of the country. Helms agreed to use funds supplied by these companies to help the right-wing party gain power. When this strategy ended in failure, Nixon ordered Helms to help the Chilean armed forces to overthrow Allende. On 11th September, 1973, a military coup removed Allende’s government from power. Allende died in the fighting in the presidential palace in Santiago and General Augusto Pinochet replaced him as president.

Augusto Pinochet

Augusto Pinochet

During the Watergate Scandal President Richard Nixon became concerned about the activities of the Central Intelligence Agency. Three of those involved in the burglary, E. Howard Hunt, Eugenio Martinez and James W. McCord had close links with the CIA. Nixon and his aides attempted to force the CIA director, Richard Helms, and his deputy, Vernon Walters, to pay hush-money to Hunt, who was attempting to blackmail the government. Although it seemed Walters was willing to do this, Helms refused. In February, 1973, Nixon sacked Helms. His deputy, Thomas H. Karamessines, resigned in protest. The following month Helms became U.S. Ambassador to Iran. James Schlesinger now became the new director of the CIA. Schlesinger was heard to say: “The clandestine service was Helms’s Praetorian Guard. It had too much influence in the Agency and was too powerful within the government. I am going to cut it down to size.” This he did and over the next three months over 7 per cent of CIA officers lost their jobs.

E Howard Hunt

E Howard Hunt

On 9th May, 1973, James Schlesinger issued a directive to all CIA employees: “I have ordered all senior operating officials of this Agency to report to me immediately on any activities now going on, or might have gone on in the past, which might be considered to be outside the legislative charter of this Agency. I hereby direct every person presently employed by CIA to report to me on any such activities of which he has knowledge. I invite all ex-employees to do the same. Anyone who has such information should call my secretary and say that he wishes to talk to me about “activities outside the CIA’s charter”. There were several employees who had been trying to complain about the illegal CIA activities for some time. As Cord Meyer pointed out, this directive “was a hunting license for the resentful subordinate to dig back into the records of the past in order to come up with evidence that might destroy the career of a superior whom he long hated.”

In 1975 the Senate Foreign Relations Committee began investigating the CIA. Senator Stuart Symington asked Richard Helms if the agency had been involved in the removal of Salvador Allende. Helms replied no. He also insisted that he had not passed money to opponents of Allende.

Frank Church

Frank Church

Investigations by the CIA’s Inspector General and by Frank Church and his Select Committee on Intelligence Activities showed that Helms had lied to the Senate Foreign Relations Committee. They also discovered that Helms had been involved in illegal domestic surveillance and the murders of Patrice Lumumba, General Abd al-Karim Kassem and Ngo Dinh Diem. Helms was eventually found guilty of lying to Congress and received a suspended two-year prison sentence.

In its final report, issued in April 1976, the Select Committee to Study Governmental Operations with Respect to Intelligence Activities concluded: “Domestic intelligence activity has threatened and undermined the Constitutional rights of Americans to free speech, association and privacy. It has done so primarily because the Constitutional system for checking abuse of power has not been applied.” The committee also revealed details for the first time of what the CIA called Operation Mockingbird. The committee also reported that the Central Intelligence Agency had withheld from the Warren Commission, during its investigation of the assassination of John F. Kennedy, information about plots by the Government of the United States against Fidel Castro of Cuba; and that the Federal Bureau of Investigation had conducted a counter-intelligence program (COINTELPRO) against Martin Luther King and the Southern Christian Leadership Conference.


On 16th May, 1978, John M. Whitten appeared before the House Select Committee on Assassinations (HSCA). He criticised Richard Helms for not making a full disclosure about the Rolando Cubela plot to the Warren Commission. He added “I think that was a morally highly reprehensible act, which he cannot possibly justify under his oath of office or any other standard of professional service.” Whitten also said that if he had been allowed to continue with the investigation he would have sought out what was going on at JM/WAVE. This would have involved the questioning of Ted Shackley, David Sanchez Morales, Carl E. Jenkins, Rip Robertson, George Joannides, Gordon Campbell and Thomas G. Clines. As Jefferson Morley has pointed out in The Good Spy: “Had Whitten been permitted to follow these leads to their logical conclusions, and had that information been included in the Warren Commission report, that report would have enjoyed more credibility with the public. Instead, Whitten’s secret testimony strengthened the HSCA’s scathing critique of the C.I.A.’s half-hearted investigation of Oswald. The HSCA concluded that Kennedy had been killed by Oswald and unidentifiable co-conspirators.”

John M. Whitten also told the HSCA that James Jesus Angleton involvement in the investigation of the assassination of John F. Kennedy was “improper”. Although he was placed in charge of the investigation by Richard Helms, Angleton “immediately went into action to do all the investigating”. When Whitten complained to Helms about this he refused to act. Whitten believes that Angleton’s attempts to sabotage the investigation was linked to his relationship with the Mafia. Whitten claims that Angleton also prevented a CIA plan to trace mob money to numbered accounts in Panama. Angleton told Whitten that this investigation should be left to the FBI. When Whitten mentioned this to a senior CIA official, he replied: “Well, that’s Angleton’s excuse. The real reason is that Angleton himself has ties to the Mafia and he would not want to double-cross them.”

A man crosses the Central Intelligence A

Whitten also pointed out that as soon as Angleton took control of the investigation he concluded that Cuba was unimportant and focused his internal investigation on Oswald’s life in the Soviet Union. If Whitten had remained in charge he would have “concentrated his attention on CIA’s JM/WAVE station in Miami, Florida, to uncover what George Joannides, the station chief, and operatives from the SIG and SAS knew about Oswald.” When he appeared before the HSCA Whitten revealed that he had been unaware of the CIA’s Executive Action program. He added that he thought it possible that Lee Harvey Oswald might have been involved in this assassination operation. Richard Helms died on 22nd October, 2002. As one commentator pointed out at the time: “Helms had gone to his grave with the sole knowledge of what Congress did not manage to uncover.” His autobiography, A Look Over My Shoulder: A Life in the CIA, was published in 2003.

E. Howard Hunt

E Howard Hunt

E Howard Hunt

Everette Howard Hunt was born in Hamburg, on 9th October, 1918. During the Second World War Hunt served in the Office of Strategic Services. After the war he joined the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) and for a while was stationed in China. While there he met and married Dorothy Hunt. In 1949 Hunt establish the first postwar CIA station in Mexico City. He also worked closely with President Anastasio Somoza of Nicaragua.

Hunt was involved in clandestine operations in Guatemala against President Jacobo Arbenz. The plot against Arbenz became part of Executive Action (a plan to remove unfriendly foreign leaders from power). Tracy Barnes was eventually placed in charge of what became known as Operation Success. David Atlee Phillips was appointed to run the propaganda campaign against Arbenz’s government. According to Phillips he initially questioned the right of the CIA to interfere in Guatemala: In his autobiography Phillips claims he said to Barnes: “But Arbenz became President in a free election. What right do we have to help someone topple his government and throw him out of office?” However, Barnes convinced him that it was vital important that the Soviets did not establish a “beachhead in Central America”.

Jacobo Arbenz

Jacobo Arbenz

The CIA propaganda campaign included the distribution of 100,000 copies of a pamphlet entitled Chronology of Communism in Guatemala. They also produced three films on Guatemala for showing free in cinemas. David Atlee Phillips, along with Hunt, was responsible for running the CIA’s Voice of Liberation radio station. Faked photographs were distributed that claimed to show the mutilated bodies of opponents of Arbenz. William (Rip) Robertson was also involved in the campaign against Arbenz. The CIA began providing financial and logistic support for Colonel Carlos Castillo. With the help of resident Anastasio Somoza, Castillo had formed a rebel army in Nicaragua. It has been estimated that between January and June, 1954, the CIA spent about $20 million on Castillo’s army. On 18th June 1954 aircraft dropped leaflets over Guatemala demanding that Arbenz resign immediately or else the county would be bombed. CIA’s Voice of Liberation also put out similar radio broadcasts. This was followed by a week of bombing ports, ammunition dumps, military barracks and the international airport.

Carlos Castillo Armas

Carlos Castillo Armas

Carlos Castillo’s collection of soldiers now crossed the Honduran-Guatemalan border. His army was outnumbered by the Guatemalan Army. However, the CIA Voice of Liberation successfully convinced Arbenz’s supporters that two large and heavily armed columns of invaders were moving towards Guatemala City. The CIA was also busy bribing Arbenz’s military commanders. It was later discovered that one commander accepted $60,000 to surrender his troops. Ernesto Guevara attempted to organize some civil militias but senior army officers blocked the distribution of weapons. Jacobo Arbenz now believed he stood little chance of preventing Castillo gaining power. Accepting that further resistance would only bring more deaths he announced his resignation over the radio.

In 1959 Hunt visited Cuba and decided that Fidel Castro posed a serious threat to the security of the United States: “I wrote a top secret report, and I had five recommendations, one of which was the one that’s always been thrown at me, is that during… or… slightly antecedent to an invasion, Castro would have to be neutralized – and we all know what that meant, although I didn’t want to say so in a memorandum with my name on it.” Hunt played an important role in planning the failed Bay of Pigs invasion.

Hunt was CIA station chief in Mexico during the early 1960s and was rumored to have been involved in the conspiracy to assassinate John F. Kennedy. It was falsely claimed that he was one of the men arrested in Dallas on the day of the murder. In 1970 Hunt officially retired from the Central Intelligence Agency. On the advice of Richard Helms, Hunt went to work for Robert F. Bennett, the head of the Robert Mullen & Co, a small public relations company in Washington.

Egil Krogh

Egil Krogh

On 7th July, 1971, Charles Colson and John Ehrlichman appointed Hunt to the White House staff. Working under Egil Krogh and Gordon Liddy Hunt became a member of the Special Investigations Group (SIG). The group was (informally known as “the Plumbers” because their job was to stop leaks from Nixon’s administration). On 15th May, 1972, Arthur Bremer tried to assassinate George Wallace at a presidential campaign rally in Laurel, Maryland. Wallace was hit four times. Three other people, Alabama State Trooper Captain E. C. Dothard, Dora Thompson, a Wallace campaign volunteer, and Nick Zarvos, a Secret Service agent, were also wounded in the attack.

Richard Nixon was deeply shocked by this event. He told Charles Colson, a member of his White House staff, that he was concerned that Bremer “might have ties to the Republican Party or, even worse, the President’s re-election committee”. Colson now phoned Hunt and asked him to break-in to Bremer’s apartment to discover if he had any documents that linked him to Nixon or his main political opponent in the presidential election, George McGovern. According to Hunt’s autobiography, Undercover, he refused to carry out this order.

Daniel Ellsberg

Daniel Ellsberg

Bob Woodward reported in the Washington Post: “Within hours of the Wallace assassination attempt, a White House official was asked by the Washington Post about the identity of the governor’s attacker. During a subsequent conversation that evening, the official raised the possibility of Bremer’s connection to leftist causes and the campaign of Sen. George McGovern, through literature found in his apartment…. One White House source said that when President Nixon was informed of the shooting, he became deeply upset and voiced concern that the attempt on Gov. Wallace’s life might have been made by someone with ties to the Republican Party or the Nixon campaign.”

Later that year the SIG became concerned about the activities of Daniel Ellsberg. He was a former member of the McNamara Study Group which had produced the classified History of Decision Making in Vietnam, 1945-1968. Ellsberg, disillusioned with the progress of the war, believed this document should be made available to the public. Ellsberg gave a copy of what later became known as the Pentagon Papers to Phil Geyelin of the Washington Post. Katharine Graham and Ben Bradlee decided against publishing the contents on the document.

Daniel Ellsberg now went to the New York Times and they began publishing extracts from the document on 13th June, 1971. This included information that Dwight Eisenhower had made a secret commitment to help the French defeat the rebellion in Vietnam. The document also showed that John F. Kennedy had turned this commitment into a war by using a secret “provocation strategy” that led to the Gulf of Tonkin incidents and that Lyndon B. Johnson had planned from the beginning of his presidency to expand the war.


G Gordon Liddy

G Gordon Liddy

On 3rd September, 1971, Hunt and Gordon Liddy supervised the burglary of a psychiatrist who had been treating Ellsberg. The main objective was to discover incriminating or embarrassing information to discredit Ellsberg. Another project involved the stealing of certain documents from the safe of Hank Greenspun, the editor of the Las Vegas Sun. Later, James W. McCord claimed that Greenspun was being targeted because of his relationship with Robert Maheu and Howard Hughes. In 1972 Gordon Liddy joined the Committee to Re-Elect the President (CREEP). Later that year Liddy presented Nixon’s attorney general, John N. Mitchell, with an action plan called Operation Gemstone. Liddy wanted a $1 million budget to carry out a series of black ops activities against Nixon’s political enemies. Mitchell decided that the budget for Operation Gemstone was too large. Instead he gave him $250,000 to launch a scaled-down version of the plan.

One of Liddy’s first tasks was to place electronic devices in the Democratic Party campaign offices in an apartment block called Watergate. Liddy wanted to wiretap the conversations of Larry O’Brien, chairman of the Democratic National Committee and R. Spencer Oliver, executive director of the Association of State Democratic Chairmen. This was not successful and on 3rd July, 1972, Frank Sturgis, Virgilio Gonzalez, Eugenio Martinez, Bernard L. Barker and James W. McCord returned to the Watergate offices. However, this time they were caught by the police. The phone number of Howard Hunt was found in address books of two of the burglars. Reporters were able to link the break-in to the White House. Bob Woodward, a reporter working for the Washington Post was told by a friend who was employed by the government, that senior aides of President Richard Nixon, had paid the burglars to obtain information about its political opponents.

James W McCord

James W McCord

Hunt threatened to reveal details of who paid him to organize the Watergate break-in. Dorothy Hunt took part in the negotiations with Charles Colson. According to investigator Sherman Skolnick, Hunt also had information on the assassination of John F. Kennedy. He argued that if “Nixon didn’t pay heavy to suppress the documents they had showing he was implicated in the planning and carrying out, by the FBI and the CIA, of the political murder of President Kennedy” James W. McCord claimed that Dorothy Hunt told him that at a meeting with her husband’s attorney, William O. Buttmann, she revealed that Hunt had information that would “blow the White House out of the water”.

In October, 1972, Dorothy attempted to speak to Charles Colson. He refused to talk to her but later admitted to the New York Times that she was “upset at the interruption of payments from Nixon’s associates to Watergate defendants.” On 15th November, Colson met with Richard Nixon, H. R. Haldeman and John Ehrlichman at Camp David to discuss Howard Hunt’s blackmail threat. John N. Mitchell was also getting worried by Dorothy Hunt’s threats and he asked John Dean to use a secret White House fund to “get the Hunt situation settled down”. Eventually it was arranged for Frederick LaRue to give Hunt about $250,000 to buy his silence.

Charles Colson

Charles Colson

However, on 8th December, 1972, Dorothy Hunt had a meeting with Michelle Clark, a journalist working for CBS. According to Sherman Skolnick, Clark was working on a story on the Watergate case: “Ms Clark had lots of insight into the bugging and cover-up through her boyfriend, a CIA operative.” Also with Hunt and Clark was Chicago Congressman George Collins. Dorothy Hunt, Michelle Clark and George Collins took the Flight 533 from Washington to Chicago. The aircraft hit the branches of trees close to Midway Airport: “It then hit the roofs of a number of neighborhood bungalows before plowing into the home of Mrs. Veronica Kuculich at 3722 70th Place, demolishing the home and killing her and a daughter, Theresa. The plane burst into flames killing a total of 45 persons, 43 of them on the plane, including the pilot and first and second officers. Eighteen passengers survived.” Hunt, Clark and Collins were all killed in the accident.

The following month Howard Hunt pleaded guilty to burglary and wiretapping and eventually served 33 months in prison. He later told People Magazine (20th May, 1974): ”I had always assumed, working for the CIA for so many years, that anything the White House wanted done was the law of the land. `I viewed this like any other mission. It just happened to take place inside this country.” In a comprehensive analysis of Hunt’s work published in The New York Review of Books in 1973, Gore Vidal argued that Hunt might have written the diary that was found in the car of Arthur H. Bremer, the man who attempted to assassinate George Wallace of Alabama.



In August, 1978, Victor Marchetti published an article about the assassination of John F. Kennedy in the liberty Lobby newspaper, Spotlight. In the article Marchetti argued that the House Special Committee on Assassinations (HSCA) had obtained a 1966 CIA memo that revealed Hunt, Frank Sturgis and Gerry Patrick Hemming had been involved in the plot to kill Kennedy. Marchetti’s article also included a story that Marita Lorenz had provided information on this plot. Later that month Joseph Trento and Jacquie Powers wrote a similar story for the Sunday News Journal.The HSCA did not publish this CIA memo linking its agents to the assassination of John F. Kennedy. Hunt now decided to take legal action against the Liberty Lobby and in December, 1981, he was awarded $650,000 in damages. Liberty Lobby appealed to the United States Court of Appeals. It was claimed that Hunt’s attorney, Ellis Rubin, had offered a clearly erroneous instruction as to the law of defamation. The three-judge panel agreed and the case was retried. This time Mark Lane defended the Liberty Lobby against Hunt’s action.

Lane eventually discovered Marchetti’s sources. The main source was William Corson. It also emerged that Marchetti had also consulted James Angleton and Alan J. Weberman before publishing the article. As a result of obtaining of getting depositions from David Atlee Phillips, Richard Helms, G. Gordon Liddy, Stansfield Turner and Marita Lorenz, plus a skillful cross-examination by Lane of Hunt, the jury decided in January, 1995, that Marchetti had not been guilty of libel when he suggested that John F. Kennedy had been assassinated by people working for the CIA.As a result of the failed legal action, in June, 1995, Hunt filed for bankruptcy protection from his creditors. Hunt spent his final years quietly in his home in Miami’s Biscayne Park neighborhood with his second wife, Laura Martin Hunt.Edward Howard Hunt died of pneumonia on 23rd January, 2007. His memoir American Spy: My Secret History in the CIA, Watergate, and Beyond was published in May 2007.

R. Haldeman, The Ends of Power (1978)

Howard Hunt, interview for the television programme, Backyard (21st February, 1999)

Fabian Escalante, The Secret War: CIA Covert Operations Against Cuba, 1959-62 (1995)

E Howard Hunt, Undercover (1974)

Lalo J. Gastriani, Fair Play Magazine, The Strange Death of Dorothy Hunt (November, 1994)

Victor Marchetti, The Spotlight (14th August, 1978)

Mark Lane, Plausible Denial (1991)

Tad Szulc, Compulsive Spy: The Strange Career of E. Howard Hunt (1974)

Bardach, Slate Magazine (6th October, 2004)

David Wise and Thomas Ross, Invisible Government (1964)

Cord Meyer, journal entry (1st February, 1969)

John Ranelagh, The Agency: The Rise and Decline of the CIA (1986)

Cord Meyer, Facing Reality: From World Federalism to the CIA (1983)

Richard Helms, A Look Over My Shoulder: A Life in the CIA (2003)

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Required Reading – Operation Jedburgh and OSS China Part 1

***EDITOR: The military wing of the Consortium was first formed during World War II in the Office of Strategic Services special operation, Operation Jedburgh. The Jedburgh Teams were the countries first modern elite commandos. They would become connected in Heroin trafficking through the French Resistance, who used the heroin sales to raise money for arms; the heroin was provided by the Spirito-Carbone network through Corsica and Marseilles. Many of the Jedbergh Team commandos would go on to join OSS China, where they would replicate the narco-terrorism techniques used by the French against the Japanese occupation in Southeast Asia. OSS China would become the upper echelon of the newly formed CIA and take control of Southeast Asian heroin.

General John K. Singlaub, Colonel Lucien Conein, and Mitch Werbell III were highly trained commando special operatives that could have easily been classified as ‘super soldiers’ in their own right. The three men have pioneered many of the United States advanced special forces techniques and have accolades from numerous wars; they also pioneered narco-trafficking techniques using military and police assets to control drug flows internationally. General Singlaub is the primary military of the Consortium, having trained many officers within the military high command of the U.S. Army; Colonel Conein and Mitch Werbell III, a legendary mercenary and global arms dealer, became key architects of the DEA and the Consortium control of the international drugs-arms-cash system.

Excerpts from Operation Jedburgh

by John Simkin (1997) – Part 1

Jedburgh Team Profiles

General John K. Singlaub

General John K. Singlaub

General John K. Singlaub

John K. Singlaub was recruited by the Office of Strategic Services (OSS) during the Second World War. He was parachuted into Nazi occupied France as part of Operation Jedburgh and helped to organize the French Resistance before the D-Day invasion. Later he was sent to OSS China where he worked with Ray S. Cline, Richard Helms, E. Howard Hunt, Jake Esterline, Mitchell WerBell, Paul Helliwell, Jack Anderson, Robert Emmett Johnson and Lucien Conein. Others working in China at that time included Tommy Corcoran, Whiting Willauer and William Pawley.


Singlaub joined the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) and he was sent to Manchuria during the Chinese Civil War. In 1951 he became Deputy Chief of the CIA station in South Korea. Later he moved to Laos where he worked closely with Ted Shackley. In 1964 Singlaub became chief of Military Assistance Command Studies and Observation Group (MACV-SOG). This was an unconventional warfare task force that oversaw assassination and paramilitary operations throughout Southeast Asia. MACV-SOG now took over Oplan 34-A from the CIA. Ted Shackley, CIA chief in Laos, reported having monthly meetings with Singlaub. According to one report, Singlaub “oversaw political assassinations programs in Laos, Cambodia and Thailand” (Bill Moyers, Inside the Shadow Government).

Laos Secret War

Laos Secret War

In 1966 Ted Shackley was placed in charge of CIA secret war in Laos. He appointed Thomas G. Clines as his deputy. He also took Carl E. Jenkins, David Morales, Rafael Quintero, Felix Rodriguez and Edwin Wilson with him to Laos. According to Joel Bainerman it was at this point that Shackley and his “Secret Team” became involved in the drug trade. They did this via General Vang Pao, the leader of the anti-communist forces in Laos. Vang Pao was a major figure in the opium trade in Laos. To help him Shackley used his CIA officials and assets to sabotage the competitors. Eventually Vang Pao had a monopoly over the heroin trade in Laos. In 1967 Shackley and Clines helped Vang Pao to obtain financial backing to form his own airline, Zieng Khouang Air Transport Company, to transport opium and heroin between Long Tieng and Vientiane. In 1968 Shackley and Clines arranged a meeting in Saigon between Santo Trafficante and Vang Pao to establish a heroin-smuggling operation from Southeast Asia to the United States.

Gen. Vang Pao

Gen. Vang Pao

In 1969 Ted Shackley became Chief of Station in Vietnam and headed the Phoenix Program. This involved the killing of non-combatant Vietnamese civilians suspected of collaborating with the National Liberation Front. In a two year period, Operation Phoenix murdered 28,978 civilians. As a specialist in unconventional warfare and covert operations, Singlaub kept a low profile. However, he eventually became chief of staff of the United Nations Command in South Korea. He was forced to resign in May, 1978 after criticizing President Jimmy Carter and his plans to reduce the number of troops in South Korea.

Singlaub in Vietnam

Singlaub in Vietnam

According to Peter Dale Scott, ten days before his retirement, Singlaub attended a meeting of right-wingers who “Didn’t think the country was being run properly and were interested in doing something about it”. The meeting was hosted by Mitchell WerBell. Singlaub now joined forces with Ted Shackley, Ray S. Cline and Richard Helms to get Jimmy Carter removed from the White House. In December, 1979, Singlaub and retired General Daniel Graham headed a delegation from the American Security Council, a private right-wing organization, on a trip to Guatemala. Singlaub pointed out that Ronald Reagan “recognizes that a good deal of dirty work has to be done” in order to destroy communism in Guatemala. “death squad activity in Guatemala increased dramatically following the trip.” Upon his return to the United States Singlaub called for “sympathetic understanding of the death squads” (The Iran Contra Connection: Secret Teams and Covert Operations in the Reagan Era).

Singlaub returned to Guatemala in 1980. This time he went with General Gordon Sumner of the Council for inter-American Security. Singlaub again took a message from Ronald Reagan who was now campaigning for the Presidency of the United States. Singlaub told his audiences that “help was on the way in the form of Ronald Reagan”.

World Anti-Communist League Meeting

World Anti-Communist League Meeting

Singlaub now became involved in extreme right-wing politics. He joined the World Anti-Communist League (WACL). Established in 1966 by the intelligence organizations of Taiwan and South Korea to provide anti-communist propaganda. Fascists played an important role in the WACL and at least three European chapters of the organization were controlled by former SS officers from Nazi Germany. By 1980 the WACL agreed that “Argentine counterterror and torture specialist would be dispatched to El Salvador to assist in the anti-communist struggle there”. (Inside the League) With a $20,000 loan from Taiwan, Singlaub created the U.S. Council for World Freedom (USCWF) in 1981. Singlaub was an advocate of unconventional warfare, which he defined as “low intensity actions, such as sabotage, terrorism, assassination and guerrilla warfare”. Singlaub made clear that the USCWF would provide “support and assistance to the democratic, anti-communist Freedom Fighters of the world.”


Singlaub in El Salvador

In a speech in San Diego, Singlaub argued: “I am convinced that our struggle with Communism is not a spectator sport. as a result of that view, we have opted for the court of action which calls for the provision of support and assistance to those who are actively resisting the Soviet supported intrusion into Africa, Asia and North America. The geographic regions of WACL must not only provide support to the freedom fighters who are engaged in combat in their own region, but they must develop plans of action to support the resistance movements in other regions of the world.” Over the next few months committees were established to determine the needs of anti-communist resistance movements in Angola, Mozambique, Ethiopia, Laos, Cambodia, Vietnam, Nicaragua, and Afghanistan.

Singlaub enjoyed a good relationship with Ronald Reagan and in 1982 USCWF was granted tax-exempt status by the Internal Revenue Service. Singlaub had to give an undertaken that “at no time will the USCWF ever contemplate providing material or funds to any revolutionary, counter-revolutionary or liberation movement”. Soon afterwards Singlaub helped establish a company called GeoMiliTech Consultants Corporation (GMT) a Washington-based arms trading company. In 1984 it is believed that Singlaub organized a shipment of weapons, ammunition and C-4 explosives to the Contras (Moyers).

In January 1985, Singlaub visited South Korea and Taiwan in order to obtain money and weapons for the Contras. Later that year Singlaub developed a plan for a large military action called the “Rainbow Mission” which involved the invasion of Nicaragua by Americans and Contras. This plan was approved by Robert Owen and Oliver North. Soon afterwards Singlaub procured a $5.3 million of Eastern bloc arms for the Contras through GMT. This included 500 pounds of C-4, five ground-to-air missiles, grenades and mortars. Questions began to be asked about Singlaub’s relationship with Oliver North. On 7th October, 1985, Robert McFarlane denied that: “Lieutenant Colonel North did not use his influence to facilitate the movement of supplies to facilitate the movement of supplies to the resistance. There is no official or unofficial relationship with any member of the NSC staff regarding fund raising for the Nicaraguan democratic opposition. This includes the alleged relationship with General Singlaub.”


In October, 1985, Congress agreed to vote 27 million dollars in non-lethal aid for the Contras in Nicaragua. However, members of the Ronald Reagan administration, including George Bush, decided to use this money to provide weapons to the Contras and the Mujahideen in Afghanistan. Gene Wheaton was recruited to use National Air to transport these weapons. He agreed but began to have second thoughts when he discovered that Richard Secord was involved in the operation and in May 1986 Wheaton told William Casey, director of the CIA, about what he knew about this illegal operation. Casey refused to take any action, claiming that the agency or the government were not involved in what later became known as Irangate.

Wheaton now took his story to Daniel Sheehan, a left-wing lawyer. Wheaton told him that Thomas G. Clines and Ted Shackley had been running a top-secret assassination unit since the early 1960s. According to Wheaton, it had begun with an assassination training program for Cuban exiles and the original target had been Fidel Castro. Wheaton also contacted Newt Royce and Mike Acoca, two journalists based in Washington. The first article on this scandal appeared in the San Francisco Examiner on 27th July, 1986. As a result of this story, Congressman Dante Facell wrote a letter to the Secretary of Defense, Casper Weinberger, asking him if it “true that foreign money, kickback money on programs, was being used to fund foreign covert operations.” Two months later, Weinberger denied that the government knew about this illegal operation.

Gen. Richard V Secord

Gen. Richard V Secord

Singlaub agreed to divert press attention away from the activities of George H. W. Bush, Oliver North, William Casey, Donald P. Gregg, Robert Owen, Felix Rodriguez, Rafael Quintero, Ted Shackley, Richard L. Armitage, Thomas G. Clines and Richard Secord. He gave several interviews where he admitted raising money for the Contras. This included an article in Common Cause where he claimed he had raised “tens of million of dollars… for arms and ammunition”. This money was raised via the World Anti-Communist League. Most of this money came from the governments of Taiwan, South Korea and Saudi Arabia. As the U.S. Neutrality Act bans a private American organization from supplying weapons to foreign groups, Singlaub established a secret overseas bank account to collect this money.

On 5th October, 1986, a Sandinista patrol in Nicaragua shot down a C-123K cargo plane that was supplying the Contras. That night Felix Rodriguez made a telephone call to the office of George H. W. Bush. He told Bush aide, Samuel Watson, that the C-123k aircraft had gone missing. Eugene Hasenfus, an Air America veteran, survived the crash and told his captors that he thought the CIA was behind the operation. He also provided information that several Cuban-Americans running the operation in El Salvador. This resulted in journalists being able to identify Rafael Quintero, Luis Posada and Felix Rodriguez as the Cuban-Americans mentioned by Hasenfus.

George Bush w/ Crack Bag

George Bush w/ Crack Bag

In an article in the Washington Post (11th October, 1986), the newspaper reported that George Bush and Donald P. Gregg were linked to Felix Rodriguez. It gradually emerged that Singlaub, Richard L. Armitage, William Casey, Thomas G. Clines, Oliver North, Edwin Wilson and Richard Secord were also involved in this conspiracy to provide arms to the Contras. On 12th December, 1986, Daniel Sheehan submitted to the court an affidavit detailing the Irangate scandal. He also claimed that Thomas G. Clines and Ted Shackley were running a private assassination program that had evolved from projects they ran while working for the CIA. Others named as being part of this assassination team included Rafael Quintero, Richard Secord, Felix Rodriguez and Albert Hakim. It later emerged that Gene Wheaton and Carl E. Jenkins were the two main sources for this affidavit.

Six days after the publication of Sheehan’s affidavit, William Casey underwent an operation for a “brain tumor”. As a result of the operation, Casey lost the power of speech and died, literally without ever talking. On 9th February, Robert McFarlane, another person involved in the Iran-Contra Scandal, took an overdose of drugs. In November, 1986, Ronald Reagan set-up a three man commission (President’s Special Review Board). The three men were John Tower, Brent Scowcroft and Edmund Muskie. Richard L. Armitage was interviewed by the committee. He admitted that he had arranged a series of meetings between Menachem Meron, the director general of Israel’s Ministry of Defence, with Oliver North and Richard Secord. However, he denied that he discussed the replenishment of Israeli TOW missiles with Meron.

According to Lawrence E. Walsh, who carried out the official investigation into the scandal (Iran-Contra: The Final Report): “By the spring of 1985 it became clear that Congress would not rescue the Contras any time soon. The House defeated a $14 million supplemental aid package in March, leaving the Contras to rely on North and his associates. Alfredo Calero found himself surrounded not only with recommended arms brokers like Secord – who by June 1985 had arranged several large arms shipments – but also willing broker/contribution solicitors like Singlaub.” Walsh also discovered that: “CIA officers in South Korea informed CIA headquarters on January 28, 1985, that retired U.S. Army Major General John K. Singlaub had asked the governing political party to contribute $2 million to the Contras. The Koreans told CIA personnel that some signal from the U.S. Government endorsing the Singlaub request would be necessary.” Walsh obtained a memorandum from Oliver North to Robert McFarlane discussing this issue.

In 1991 John Singlaub published his autobiography, Hazardous Duty: An American Soldier in the Twentieth Century. The reviewer in The New York Times wrote: “In this readable, often engaging memoir, Jack Singlaub sounds like the kind of guy you would want with you in the trenches. But not necessarily after the shooting stops.”

Colonel Lucien Conein

Col. Lucien Conein (rear)

Col. Lucien Conein (rear)

Lucien Conein was born in Paris in 1919. Five years later his widowed mother arranged for him to live with her sister in Kansas City, who had married a soldier in the United States Army (he had served in France during the First World War).

When the Second World War broke out in 1939 Conein returned to France and joined the French Army. After the German invasion in 1940 Conein returned to the United States. He now joined the U.S. Army but because of his knowledge of France he was transferred to the Office of Strategic Services (OSS). In 1944 he was sent to Vichy France with orders to help the French Resistance attack the German Army during the Allied landings in Normandy. He worked with the Jedburghs, a multinational band directed by the Office of Strategic Services (OSS) and the British Special Operations Executive (SOE).


While in France, Conein began working with the Corsican Brotherhood, an underworld organization allied with the resistance. Later Conein was to say: “”When the Sicilians put out a contract, it’s usually limited to the continental United States, or maybe Canada or Mexico. But with the Corsicans, it’s international. They’ll go anywhere. There’s an old Corsican proverb: ‘If you want revenge and you act within 20 years, you’re acting in haste.’ “With the death of Adolf Hitler and the surrender of Germany in April, 1945, Conein was sent to Vietnam where he helped organize attacks against the Japanese Army.

Images of Conein Are Rare

Images of Conein Are Rare

At the end of the Second World War, Conein returned to Europe as a member of the OSS. This included organizing the infiltration of spies and saboteurs into those countries in Eastern Europe under the control of the Soviet Union. Conein later joined the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) and was involved in covert operations in several different countries. In 1951, Gordon Stewart, the CIA chief of espionage in West Germany, sent Conein to establish a base in Nuremberg. The following year Ted Shackley arrived to help Conein with his work. The main purpose of this base was to send agents into Warsaw Pact countries to gather information needed to fight the Soviet Union during the Cold War. The venture was not a great success and the governments in both Poland and Czechoslovakia announced that they had smashed several CIA espionage rings. Later he worked with William Harvey in Berlin.

CIA Chief Ted Shackley

CIA Chief Ted Shackley

In 1954 Conein was sent to work under General Edward Lansdale in a covert operation against the government of Ho Chi Minh in North Vietnam. The plan was to mount a propaganda campaign to persuade the Vietnamese people in the south not to vote for the communists in the forthcoming elections. In the months that followed they distributed targeted documents that claimed the Vietminh had entered South Vietnam and were killing innocent civilians. The Ho Chi Minh government was also accused of slaying thousands of political opponents in North Vietnam. In the late 1950s Conein worked closely with William Colby, the CIA station chief in Saigon. Conein helped to arm and train local tribesmen, mostly the Montagnards, who carried out attacks on the Vietminh. These men also guided Vietnamese Special Forces units who made commando raids into Laos and North Vietnam.

Assassination of Diem

Assassination of Diem

President John F. Kennedy eventually became convinced that President Ngo Dinh Diem would never be able to unite the South Vietnamese against communism. Several attempts had already been made to overthrow Diem but Kennedy had always instructed the CIA and the US military forces in Vietnam to protect him. In order to obtain a more popular leader of South Vietnam, Kennedy agreed that the role of the CIA should change. Conein provided a group of South Vietnamese generals with $40,000 to carry out the coup with the promise that US forces would make no attempt to protect Diem. At the beginning of November, 1963, Diem was overthrown by a military coup. After the generals had promised Diem that he would be allowed to leave the country they changed their mind and killed him. Nguyen Van Thieu now became the chairman of a 10-member military directorate.

It has been suggested that Conein might have been involved in the assassination of John F. Kennedy. In his book, The Last Investigation (1993), Gaeton Fonzi points out that Conein was closely connected to E. Howard Hunt and Mitchell WerBell, two men suspected of the crime. Joseph Trento has also pointed out that Conein worked with Ted Shackley and William Harvey at the JM/WAVE CIA station in Miami in 1963. Leroy Fletcher Prouty claimed that Conein has been identified as being in Dallas on the day of the assassination. Whereas Ron Ecker and Jack White have suggested that he was standing at the corner of Main and Houston at the time Kennedy was killed. However, Larry Hancock has investigated Conein and believes he never left Vietnam during 1963.

Conein in Vietnam

Conein in Vietnam

Conein left the CIA in 1968 and became a businessman in South Vietnam. In 1970 E. Howard Hunt introduced Conein to President Richard Nixon. Two years later Nixon appointed Conein to the Drug Enforcement Administration, where he directed an intelligence-gathering and operations unit. It has been claimed by William Turner and Warren Hinckle in their book, Deadly Secrets, that this work included “plots to assassinate key international drug figures”. In 1972 E. Howard Hunt considered hiring Conein for the group that bungled the 1972 Watergate burglary at the Democratic National Committee headquarters. Conein later told the historian, Stanley Karnow: “If I’d been involved, we’d have done it right.” Lucien Conein died after a heart attack at Suburban Hospital, Virginia, on 3rd June, 1998.

Mitch Werbell III

Mitch Werbell III

Mitch Werbell III

Mitchell Werbell, the son of a former Czarist calvary officer, was born in Philadelphia in 1918. During the Second World War Werbell joined the Office of Strategic Services (OSS) and saw action in Burma and China. According to Gaeton Fonzi, this enabled Werbell to join “the superspy fraternity” that included Allen W. Dulles, William Casey, Richard Helms and E. Howard Hunt. After the war, Werbell lived outside of Atlanta. He also worked as an arms dealer. Werbell ran a series of weapon manufacturing and marketing firms including Military Armament Corporation, Defense Services and Quantum Ordnance Bankers. Werbell distributed advanced weaponry to selective foreign groups.

In 1959 WerBell did covert work for Fulgencio Batista in Cuba. During this period be became friends with Gerry P. Hemming, Bernardo De Torres and Gordon Novel. Hemming and Torres were both representatives of WerBell in his arms sales business. WerBell was also rumoured to be involved in the assassination of John F. Kennedy. Roy Hargraves told Noel Twyman that WerBell supplied silencers used by the gunmen in Dallas. Another source said that WerBell was involved with Jack Ruby.

Fulgencio Batista

Fulgencio Batista

WerBell was interviewed by Gaeton Fonzi while carrying out research for his book, The Last Investigation (1993): “There’s a helluva lot I ain’t said yet, and there’s a helluva lot I ain’t gonna say yet… I’ve been in so many places, so many countries, so many revolutions, it’s beginning to get all mixed up in my mind… We don’t play with people like that (Jack Ruby). I mean, it’s as simple as that. This guy Ruby, he called, I didn’t know who the hell he was, but that was years ago.”

Mitch Werbell in the 70s

Mitch Werbell in the 70s

WerBell also did covert work in the Dominican Republic, and Vietnam. In 1966 WerBell served as adviser on Project Nassau, a planned invasion of Haiti by Cuban and Haitian exiles to oust the dictator Francois “Papa Doc” Duvalier. In 1967 WerBell formed a partnership with Gordon Ingram. Together they distributed the Ingram M-11, a hand-held, quiet machine gun. Six years later WerBell and his arms company, Defense Services, were indicted for allegedly trying to sell some of these Ingram submachine guns to a federal undercover agent. He was also indicted for proposing to sell 2,000 of these weapons to Robert Vesco in Costa Rica. Later, both these charges were dropped. Mitchell Livingston WerBell III died of cancer in 1983.


  1. H. Crerar, Special Warfare (2000)

John K. Singlaub, speech at a World Anti-Communist League meeting in San Diego (4th September, 1984)

John K. Singlaub, Hazardous Duty: An American Soldier in the Twentieth Century (1991)

Joseph E. Persico, review in The New York Times of John K. Singlaub’s Hazardous Duty: An American Soldier in the Twentieth Century (4th August, 1991)

David Corn, Blond Ghost: The Shackley and the CIA’s Crusades (1994)

Seymour Hersh, The Dark Side of Camelot (1997)

Gaeton Fonzi, The Last Investigation (1993)

Alan J. Weberman, Coup D’Etat in America: The CIA and the Assassination of John F. Kennedy (1975)

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Required Reading – Humble Beginnings

Editor: This article details the re-emergence of government narcotics trafficking during the 1930’s as both a tool of foreign espionage and domestic political control. The model created by Carbone, Spirito and Sabiani would go on to be used by governments and intelligence agencies worldwide to control the flow of international narcotics.  


Heroin Fascism: Marseilles, the ‘30s 

by Anonymous (1983)

Sabiani, Carbone and Spirito

Sabiani, Carbone and Spirito

The first link between the Corsicans and the political world came about with the emergence of the 1920’s of Marseilles’ first ‘modern’ gangsters. Francois Spirito and Paul Bonnaventure Carbone (the jolly heroes of the popular 1970’s French film Borsalino). Until their rise to prominence the milieu was populated by number of colorful whose most stable form of investment was usually 2 or 3 prostitutes. Carbone and Spirito changed all that…their 20-year old partnership permanently transformed the character of the Marseilles milieu.

The enterprising team’s first major venture was the establishment of a French staffed brothel in Cairo in the late 1920’s. Upon their return to Marseilles, they proceeded to organize prostitution on a scale previously unknown. But more significantly, they recognized the importance of political power in protecting large scale criminal ventures and its potential for providing a source of income through municipal graft.

In 1931, Carbone and Spirito reached an “understanding” with Simon Sabiani, Marseille’s Pro-Fascism deputy mayor, who proceeded to appoint Carbone’s brother director of the municipal stadium and open municipal employment to associates of the two leaders of the French underworld. In return for these favors, Carbone and Spirito organized an elite corps of gangsters that spearheaded violent Fascist street demonstrations during the depression years of the 1930s.


All across Europe fascism was gaining strength: Mussolini ruled Italy, Hitler was coming to power in Germany, and emerging French Fascist groups were trying to topple the republic through mass violence. Communist and Socialist demonstrators repeatedly rushed to the defense of the republic, producing a series of bloody confrontations throughout France. In Marseilles, Carbone and Spirito were the vanguard of the Right Wing.

In February of 1934, several days after an inflammatory speech by a Fascist army general, massive street demonstrations erupted on the Canbiere, Marseilles’ main boulevard. The thousands of leftist dock workers and union members who took to the streets dominated the political confrontation until Carbone and Spirito’s political shock force fired on the crowd with pistols. The national police intervened, the workers were driven from the streets and the wounded were carted off to the hospital.

After 4 years of battling Sabiani’s underworld allies in the streets, the left settled its political differences long enough to mount a unified electoral effort that defeated Sabiani and placed a Socialist mayor in office. Although the leftist electoral victory temporarily eclipsed the Fascist-Corsican Alliance, the rise of fascism had politicized the Marseilles underworld and marked its emergence as a major political force in city politics.

General Francisco Franco of Spain

General Francisco Franco of Spain

Although they had lost control of the municipal government, Carbone and Spirito’s economic strength had hardly declined. The emergence of organized narcotics trafficking in the US provided Carbone with the opportunity to open a heroin laboratory in the early 1930’s, while the outbreak of the Spanish Civil War enabled him to engage in the arms traffic.

Carbone and Spirito found their political influence restored in 1940, when German troops occupied Marseilles. Faced with one of the more active resistance movements in France, the Nazi Gestapo unit assigned to Marseilles became desperate for informants and turned to the most prestigious figures in the underworld, who were only too willing to collaborate.

On July 14, 1942 the French Resistance showed its strength for the first time by machine gunning the headquarters of a pro-German political organization in downtown Marseilles (the PPF, who director was the ex-mayor Simon Sabiani). The following afternoon Carbone and Spirito handed the Gestapo a complete list of all involved. For these and other invaluable services, they were lavishly rewarded. This prosperity was short lived, however, for in 1943 Carbone was killed en route to Marseilles when his train was blown up by the Resistance and following the Normandy landing in 1944, Spirito fled to Spain with Sabiani.

In 1947, Spirito came to the US where he enjoyed an active role in the New York-Marseilles Heroin traffic. However he was arrested in New York 3 years later on a heroin smuggling charge and sentenced to 2 years in Atlanta Federal Prison. Upon his release he returned to France, where he was arrested and tried for wartime collaboration with the Nazis; however, after only 8 months in prison, he retired to manage restaurants in the French Riviera, where he remained active in the heroin business.”

*Article from Blacklisted News: Secret Histories From Chicago to 1984

The Green Chazzan 

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Required Reading

This is a New Series on the Green Pulpit called Required Reading where we bring you books, videos and articles that discuss the formation of the Anglo-American Business Consortium, the formation of the American Narcostate under Republican Primacy and its effect on the international drug trade. This series is meant to inform the American citizen as a follow up to our previous series, the Secret History of the Drug War which can be found here:

Required Reading

  1. America’s 60 Families – Ferdinand Lundberg

Details the history of the cabal of Anglo-American billionaires known as the Consortium from 1865 to 1937, from its origin following the Civil War and Lincoln’s assassination to their political war with FDR during the Great Depression. Describes the elite Anglo-American families in detail, describes the assets that they control and their class war against American labor.


  1. As He Saw It – Elliot Roosevelt

Details the struggles between FDR and Winston Churchill, a prominent member of the Consortium; describes how FDR fought the Anglo-American Consortium to free Africa and the Asian colonies from European domination and FDR’s plan to undo European global control over international trade.  


  1. The Emperor Wears No Clothes – Jack Herer

Details the history of marijuana and hemp production in the 1930s; discusses how international control of the cannabis and hemp markets were essential to the success of many European empires.


  1. Blacklisted News: Secret Histories From Chicago to 1984 – Numerous Authors

Blacklisted book, details US government corruption and Republican control of the international narcotics trade from Richard Nixon’s election in 1968 to Ronald Reagan’s re-election in 1984 including stories from the 20’s and 30’s. Stories about the recent history of the Consortium. Details the US Narcostate and shares experiences from Hippies, gangsters and Zippies that witnessed the government’s participation in the domestic narcotics trade.


5. Memoirs of Dennis Peron – Dennis Peron and John Entwhistle

Memoir of Dennis Peron’s fight for Medical Marijuana with the San Francisco Police and California Political Machine in the 1970s, the AIDS Crisis in the 1980s and the fight for Proposition 215, the first Marijuana Law in the United States in the mid-1990s. 


6. Freeway Ricky Ross: The Untold Autobiography – Freeway Ricky Ross

Freeway Ricky Ross discusses how he introduced Crack Cocaine into the United States with the help of the Reagan CIA and members of the Consortium within the US military. Author took the fall for the military officials involved in the Iran-Contra Affair.


7. Dark Alliance: The CIA, the Contras, and the Crack Cocaine Explosion – Gary Webb

The book that got its author, Gary Webb, assassinated. Investigates connections between the US intelligence agencies, the drug cartels, foreign mercenaries, multi-national corporations and domestic drug dealing within the United States. Investigates how the Consortium was nearly exposed during the Iran-Contra Affair. 


Required Viewing

Behind The Iran-Contra Affair (1988) – 1 hour

*Via Youtube in 8 parts


Part 1

Part 2


Col. Oliver North

Part 3

Part 4


Freeway Ricky Ross

Part 5

Part 6

The Consortium

George HW Bush

Part 7

Part 8

Further Reading


More to Come as Part of Our Holiday Hidden History Special! 

The Green Chazzan 

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The Top 5 Roadblocks to Marijuana Reform

Robert Randall - The First Legal Marijuana Patient

Robert Randall – The First Legal Marijuana Patient

Over the past several months The Green Chazzan and friends have laid a number of issues going on throughout the country with the medical marijuana movement. There are so many incidents, raids, political stooges and bent legislation attempts that it’s hard to keep a lid on what is most important in this fight to Reschedule Medical Marijuana to a Schedule V pharmaceutical. So The Chazzan has assembled a simple list of the Top 5 obstacles the Medical Marijuana movement faces in every state in which there is a marijuana law.


Police and Municipal Corruption


Hey it’s almost Election Day! Can’t you tell? The raids are out in full force especially because Midterms often mean elections for Judgeships, Prosecutorial Positions, Police Chiefs, Fire Chiefs, and all kinds of other political administrators are going to be held, and that means it’s time to look “Tough on Crime”. Already we see the DEA and local Sheriff tearing up Arizona, Colorado and Southern California especially since Governor Jerry Brown has essentially declared war on the marijuana industry at the behest of corporate interests. If you are an operator it’s in your best interest to be extra mindful within the two weeks of Election Day, especially if local inspectors, meter maids, and police have taken a sudden extra interest in your business establishment. While some dispensaries are raided for their collaboration with the Cartel and the Consortium, many local agencies and legal officials will use election time to take advantage of the system to collect extra taxes on other growers and dispensaries.

We just simply can’t talk about the history of medical marijuana without discussing the history of police corruption in the United States. Since the 1920’s, law enforcement entities throughout the country have held the arbitrary position as the black market industry’s self-appointed regulator and lead racketeer. Police departments throughout the United States have ran ‘shakedown’ bribery rackets on medical marijuana distributors for almost a century from doctors to street corner dealers; evolving from shaking down minorities in the 50’s and hippies in the 60’s to collecting monthly taxes from medical marijuana dispensaries in modern times.


The Federal government must be made to understand that it is difficult to bring the industry into compliance because of the conflict of interest held by local law enforcement and the local prison systems. Attempts by dispensaries to come into compliance must be open, fair and transparent which is why the federal government must establish public health and environmental health guidelines for the states but the industry must guide the federal government on this matter due to the lack of expertise, especially on the East Coast.

Deputy Attorney General James Cole

Deputy Attorney General James Cole

Police and municipal racketeering of the medical marijuana industry inherently sets a price floor for every harvest…”

Why? Because knocking down growers up north keeps the marijuana price high so that the Police and DEA can extract larger incomes when it comes time to ‘tax’ the dispensaries.

Dispensary owners in Los Angeles County, the ‘Mecca of Medical Marijuana’, continue to lament over the shakedown racket perpetrated by the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department. Measure D, a vile ‘regulation by law enforcement’ bill marketed as ‘legalization’ passed in Los Angeles County segregated dispensaries in LA between pre-regulation ‘Pre-ICO’ and post-regulation ‘Post-ICO’ collectives.

Steve "Not" Cooley

Steve “Not” Cooley

Almost all Pre-ICO collectives were able to obtain their exemptions by extensively bribing the LA County Sheriff or select members of the LA City Council and the illustrious Board of Supervisors. Pre-ICO permits were also issued to collectives owned by members of the LA City Administration including former DA Steve Cooley and former LA Sheriff Lee Baca, who owned a dispensary indirectly through his secretary. The remaining collectives that remained Post-ICO after refusing to kowtow under the LA Sheriff’s extortion racket have remained the victim of continued municipal racketeering by the Sheriff and local police entities.

Long Beach Police Chief Jim McDonnell

Long Beach Police Chief Jim McDonnell

Measure D in itself is a federally illegal statute as it contradicts the guidance issued by the US Justice Department in the Cole Memorandum of 2013. Los Angeles faces an even tougher battle ahead as the notorious self-avowed Prohibitionist, Jim McDonnell, the police chief of Long Beach, is currently the front runner to be Lee Baca’s replacement. McDonnell is far more cunning and corrupt than Baca, having severely racketeered the Long Beach marijuana dispensaries under his tenure along with manipulating crime statistics and allowing the heroin trade to expand out of the Port of Long Beach. Should McDonnell succeed in becoming LA County Sheriff, he will prove to be a worthy political adversary to all within the California medical marijuana movement. His rival Paul Tanaka, the Mayor of Gardena, does not have a much better record but is by far the lesser of the two evils.

Colorado, Washington State and Hawaii have also had their fair share of problems from law enforcement entities picking the winners and losers of newborn dispensaries. Law Enforcement entities in this ‘Legalization’ states have used ‘drugged driving’ provisions and other legal loopholes to entrap patients and dispensary operators alike in arbitrary state compliance rackets. ‘Legalization’ laws have put law enforcement at the helm of making regulatory decisions, law enforcement may determine how marijuana laws in their state are interpreted and retain the right to impose new regulations at both the cultivator, operator and patient’s expense.

Alison Holcomb - Corporatist Extraordinaire

Alison Holcomb – Corporatist Extraordinaire

There have also been attempts by some of the lesser skilled growers to influence city and county administrations to limit what strains may be used; typically pushing for the 12 highest yielding and easiest to grow strains in which they could retain market advantage. Other growers have also limited county and state regulations to CBD only strains in a greedy attempt to corner their own state markets. Growers of this nature need to be isolated and ran out of the industry because they are harmful to us and beneficial to corrupt police and municipal officials. There are over 1000 known strains of medical marijuana throughout the world, all with unique and complex cannabinoid complexes that have yet to be fully understood in terms of medical benefits. So who are these growers, many without a college degree let alone a high school education, to decide which strains are medically valuable and which are medically not valuable?. Persons with low quality seed banks, incentives to do large scale thousand plus plant operations with low quality but high volume turn out. These claims are not based in science, only in greed and a lack of craftsmanship.

Patrick Kennedy - Alcohal and Tobacco Lobbyist

Patrick Kennedy – Alcohal and Tobacco Lobbyist

These same entities have also played a significant role in championing municipal and county based ‘marijuana bans’ throughout California and other states with marijuana laws. A method created by Americans For Safe Access and the League of California Cities to eliminate competition and maintain the shakedown rackets. We have spoken about how municipal bans work in our Coalition of Corruption series, but just a quick refresher; municipal bans have been put in place throughout California and the only dispensaries exempted from the bans have either successfully sued the municipalities in court or they have had their place secured by ASA through pay-offs or law enforcement sponsorship. However even successful lawsuits have proven not to be enough given the recent raids in San Bernardino County and Orange County; the City of Anaheim brutally discriminated against marijuana businesses just last week by cutting off all water and power to dispensaries that wouldn’t cave to the city’s extortion demands.


Many will argue that the cities have the right to govern themselves but we argue that they must do so in a lawful manner. This is America, not Honduras. Most cities brought in medical marijuana dispensaries to cover up other fiscal discrepancies and shortfalls following 9/11 and the 2008 crash, with most operations peaking around 2006 and 2010 during the heights of the conflict in Afghanistan for both administrations. Many cities, to thwart federal investigators, initially brought in medical marijuana as a means to transfer monies from other illicit rackets to the medical marijuana dispensaries. However the cities liberal enaction of medical marijuana laws brought with it an influx of locals, northern hippies and out-of-state con artist carpetbaggers that stymied the cities plans for an easy transition.

LEAR Mercenary Raid

LEAR Mercenary Raid

State corruption has taken a step further now that the Sheriff’s Departments of several counties throughout California have used the Open Fields Clause to justify the non-intervention of their departments towards the highly illegal mercenary raids being conducted by LEAR Corporation and Blackwater (Xe) throughout the state. This program has been tacitly backed by Governor Jerry Brown in exchange for Consortium and Prison Guards Union donations to both his reelection and future Senate ambitions.


Con Artists and Scams

The Medical Marijuana movement is rife with Con Artists, Frauds, Racketeers, Frontmen, Informants, Clowns, Charlatans, Crooked Lawyers and just genuinely psychotic people with strange backgrounds.

Cheryl Shuman in Selfie #1000562744

Cheryl Shuman in Diabolical Selfie #1000562744   *public domain btw*

Currently in Del Ray Oaks in Monterey County we are seeing Cheryl Shuman of ‘Echelon Cannabis’, a notorious Hollywood con, known for running a Hollywood Madame service under the guise of a movie set optician business. Startups that work with Mrs. Shuman’s CNBC sponsored entrapment scheme will quickly find themselves in deep waters; she has made it her business to understand what is and isn’t protected by Marijuana Laws including copyrights and trade secrets related to medical marijuana products. Mrs. Shuman quickly steals her ‘new partners’ products knowing full well there is no legal recourse against her for doing so; she will even go as far as to steal marketing materials from other organizations and rebrand them for her own purposes. Shuman knows she is violating the RICO Act and the Cole Memorandum and isn’t afraid to let her business associates know that they are doing the same once they have entered her trap.

More About Shuman’s Hollywood Background:

Any of the victims that dare to resist are quickly reminded that Mrs. Shuman is associated with Norton Arbelaez Jr., the son of one of the most powerful cartel bosses out of Bogota, Colombia. Arbelaez Jr. and Sr. are two of the most powerful members of the Consortium, the cabal of corporate and cartel interests that are seeking to transfer control of the industry and its seeds to a small group of well moneyed hands. Arbelaez serves as the representative of the Colombian Cartel’s portion of the international marijuana trade, working in concert with Marc Emery of the Canadian Cartel, Arjan Roskam of Holland, George Soros (DPA) and the Marijuana Policy Project and the Sinaloa Cartel of Mexico to stop independent growers in the United States, especially California, from out-competing them with their superior medicinal marijuana quality.

Norton Arbelaez Jr.

Norton Arbelaez Jr.

Mrs. Shuman has been using the Colombians to protect herself and her family from members of Italian organized crime. The buds in her so-called ‘Beverly Hills’ aka South Central based marijuana club are most certainly BC Beaster quality and any Hollywood type foolish enough to buy buds from her is most certainly slumming their greens at top tier pricing. With already such colorful characters, one can only imagine the cavalcade of characters being rolled out for the Ohio and Florida marijuana bills.


Lack of Education



There is a stunning divergence within the Medical Marijuana movement that has severely debilitated its ability to function cohesively as a unit and that is the Education Gap. Many members of the movement do not have a college education, let alone a high school diploma; they do not understand legal statutes, financial markets, basic business management, government processes and many other functions necessary to be successful in today’s society. Street smarts and natural businesses smarts can get you far but eventually legal walls appear that create complications. Being unable to deal with these complications in the proper legal manner has led to abuse by law enforcement, attorneys and doctors alike; seeking to take advantage of the education gap for their own profit and social gain.

This is why a statewide cultivators union is important, to protect the rights and freedoms of the growers from the educated abusers like the police, marketers, billionaires and lawyers. The union will create a pathway for cultivators to work with educated supporters like botanists, horticulturalists, biologists and environmental scientists. The new generation of young growers, cultivators and activists are seeking to use their knowledge to support and expand the world of medical marijuana and this must be harnessed by the senior leadership of the movement as it stands. The growers and pioneers must educate this new generation through a centralized medium on how the Medical Marijuana really works lest they become servants and victims of the Consortium.

Jamaican Growers Union

Jamaican Growers Union

The Los Angeles Times interviewed Deputy Director James Cole of the US Department of Justice, author of the 2013 Cole Memorandum. He stated that he wanted California to get its ‘regulatory act together’, meaning to bring state law in compliance with the federal guidelines of the Cole Memorandum. This warning could apply to all Marijuana states that desire to avoid federal raids. We also can’t forget that its midterm season and without a doubt the increase in both state and federal raids are coinciding with a ‘tough on crime’ image.

Deputy AG James Cole - Federal Marijuana Czar

Deputy AG James Cole – Federal Marijuana Czar

There is also a severe lack of political education within the movement that can be largely attributed to misinformation and revisionist history campaigns by High Times Magazine, NORML and Marijuana Mafia organizations like ASA, MPP and DPA.

Ask Yourself:

How Many Times Have You Voted For A Judge That Promoted Marijuana Convictions?

How Many Times Have You Researched The Judges and Prosecutors on Your State’s Election Ballot?

Do You Know Your Local Judges’ Stance on Medical Marijuana? What About Your Local Prosecutor?


In elections, these questions matter. Judges and Prosecutors make Marijuana Convictions possible. No court support effort in the world is as effective or as powerful as a ‘YES’ or ‘NO’ VOTE against a prosecutor or a judge in a major election. Want to send a message to the courts? Why not vote out the judges that maintain the marijuana rackets and support police racketeering? Why waste your money on ineffective court support organizations when you can do so much more damage by actually voting in an election?




As if we didn’t have enough problems, let’s turn to the Big Elephant in the room. The Fortune 500 corporations and the billionaires that own them. They are a problem. Why? Because they want their cut of the layer cake, a slice of the marijuana pie. They don’t want to do anything to build it, they simply want to dominate it with their money and corner the seed market so that they can make the rules.

The billionaires of America know that medical marijuana and legal hemp pose an epic commercial challenge to the industries they have owned and controlled for the past century. Who can corner such a freely distributed yet proprietary seed? Monsanto and Cargill believe they can, George Soros believes he can, RJ Reynolds and Altria are sure going to give it their best shot, Merck, Teva, Astra Zeneca and don’t forget the Alcohol industry, they won’t let the decline of alcoholism go quietly.


What is their strategy? Their tactics? It’s simple, outlaw the small and medium size grower and dispensary operators. Narrow the strains down to only the high volume strains that can be reproduced easily and then outlaw grows that produce less than 1000 plants, screw medical value it’s all about marketing and money for the billionaires. Medical value strains can be patented instead by Monsanto or Merck and be sold to patients at extraordinary rates just like many major medications for the terminally ill today that is what the billionaires want to see. A continuance of the same old, same old, no cures, just treatments and the flow of money to hospitals and drug companies will continue unabated.


The whole sorry situation in America’s hospitals today are only just beginning to change with Obamacare. You will hear Republicans scream about the cost of Obamacare but those healthcare costs could be reduced if medical marijuana was rescheduled by the government. The simple truth is these billionaires are using their influence to run the medical marijuana industry in a manner in which it will not compete with their current business interests. The Consortium is working to establish regulations throughout North and South America that excludes the wealthy from punishment for the use of cannabis but maintains criminal punishments for the poor who use marijuana as a medication the most.


The ‘Old Oligarchs’ as Aristotle keenly put, do not wish to see progress trump their control, they would prefer the detriment of the public to such an outcome. In Aristotle’s tale, The ‘Old Oligarch’ did not like the Athenian Navy because it strengthened the Athenian democracy and diminished his own power. The Old Oligarchs of America do not like medical marijuana because it is a plant of the people, for the low, middle and high to share and heal with and it diminishes their power which comes from the profits of pharmaceuticals, alcohol and tobacco, prisons, food, and other forms of commodity control.

George Soros

George Soros

That is why the Wall Street Hedge Funds, the big businesses and oligarchical entities like George Soros are doing their best to divide and conquer the industry. Using banners like Safe Access, Safety First, Responsibility and all kinds of other fear mongering Anti-Saloon League type propaganda language. Paying front-men like Marc Emery, Don Duncan, Gary Johnson, Alison Holcomb, Rick Steves, and retired law enforcement officials to tout ‘Legalization’ aka corporate domination of the medical marijuana industry. The same group of corporate raiders are now slowly invading the State of Oregon, touting a measure much similar to the one they already passed in Washington State and hoping for another California Coup in 2016. The end result of these ‘Legalization’ Bills is that the non-corporate competition and the home grower get raided, the patient continues to be drug tested, business as usual.

Consortium Spokesman Rick Steves

Consortium Spokesman Rick Steves

The key signs to look for in sniffing out oligarchical legislation are the following:

  • Drugged Driving
  • Cannabinoid Limits
  • Strain Type Limits
  • Home Grow Bans
  • Prohibitions of Small Scale Grows
  • Dispensary Limits
  • License Issuance Limits and Lotteries
  • Municipal Bans with Exemptions


Internal Division



The biggest problem affecting the whole medical marijuana movement from uniting behind federal rescheduling is the internal division within the movement caused by the aforementioned symptoms. Through the limelight we have lost sight of why we initially started this movement, to help the patients fight terminal diseases and that is what we must continue to do. We have allowed the desire for glamour and wealth to cloud our drive to reschedule and decriminalize medical marijuana at the national level. We must federally reschedule medical marijuana as a cohesive unit so that we may all live in health and liberty as we deserve.

The billionaires will continue to try to co-opt and control the movement, to keep us sick so that they may continue to profit off our deaths for generations but through education and newfound wisdom we can learn how to heal ourselves through the Earth that God created.

Bereishis 1:11-12

 “God said, “Let the earth sprout vegetation; herbage yielding seed, fruit trees yielding fruit each after its kind, containing its own seed on the earth. And it was so. And the earth brought forth vegetation: herbage yielding seed after its kind, and trees yielding fruit, each containing its seed after its kind. And God saw that it was good.”

Bereishis 1:29

“God said, “Behold, I have given you all the herbage yielding seed that is on the surface of the entire earth, and every tree that has seed-yielding fruit; it shall be yours for food”

All pharmaceuticals either come from chemicals manufactured in a laboratory, herbs from the earth or combinations thereof. Both Big Pharma and Big Food, want to corner the seed industry so that they can continue to profit from a monopoly over the resources of the earth just like any other oligarchical entity like Big Oil or Big Mining. Marijuana, another resource from the earth is not exempt from the desires of the large corporate billionaires.

The Consortium

The Consortium

We have to accept the reality that state and federal regulation of medical marijuana is inevitable but we have to organize to ensure that the regulations are both equitable and open for patients, growers and operators not just large corporate entities and law enforcement. Growers must unionize on a state by state basis to ensure that proper markets that are conducive to industry growth are created and to defend the inherent interests of the industry from predatory interests. The likes of the Drug Policy Alliance, The Marijuana Policy Project and Americans For Safe Access do not work for you, they work for very large, very wealthy and powerful corporate entities that have no interest in seeing an industry with the independence that medical marijuana currently has. But with independence comes responsibility which is why growers must take it upon themselves to organize and establish what responsible, fair and conducive regulations look like.

“When your parents do not have the money to pay the medical bills, no one will pity you….When you are beaten by your competitors, no one will pity you…”

  • Jack Ma, CEO of Ali Baba

Brutally honest but a true statement about the state of globalized business, meaning that our competition does not care if we live or die, nor will anyone care if we lose the fight against them. However there is a chance, like the tortoise versus the hare, they are fast and well-resourced but they are still playing our chess game and we have the ability to change the rules. We must:

  1. Form Statewide Unions
  2. Set Inter-Union Rates and Rules
  3. ‘Select and Elect’ Politicians and State/Municipal Bureaucrats that are Pro-MMJ
  4. Lobby Congress to Reschedule Medical Marijuana to Schedule V
  5. Repeal Municipal and County-By-County Dispensary Bans
  6. Establish Weights and Measures,
  7. Establish Environmental Standards For Growing
  8. Sale Standards For Each State
  9. Establish “Regulation By Doctor” Laws in Every State/Curtail “Regulation by Law Enforcement” and “Drugged Driving” Programs at both State and Federal Level
  10. Lobby Congress to Open Up Medical Marijuana Research Programs For Healthcare, Domestic Growth, Research and Development

Protesting, making arbitrary and uncoordinated referendums and gathering behind false ‘Marijuana Messiahs’ is not the answer, in this technological age we must have a well-coordinated multi-dimensional approach that utilizes the media, the legislature, the internet, public and private forums, political analysis and mass networking. We must learn to work together by forming alliances with like-minded medical growers that want to see this industry survive and expand over the next 40 years.

We have to beat the corporations and police unions at their own game by organizing a union that can play the political game on even ground through harnessing the financial power of our industry through an organized legal conduit that benefits those contributing to it.

Here is an example of a conceptual model created by Patrick Rohde of APRA that details how the ‘Select and Elect’ process works:

Conceptual Organizational Model

Conceptual Organizational Model – APRA™





American Patients Rights Association™


And if a house be divided against itself, that house cannot stand….”

  • Mark 3:25

However this process will only work if the growers settle their differences and come together in each state or it will most certainly end in failure. Farmers, growers and cultivators must come together in California, Oregon, Washington, Hawaii, Arizona, Nevada, Colorado and Montana to fight for the right to personal/home grows, open strains, open seeds, open markets, fair regulations, equitable regulations and the sustainability of an industry you helped create.


The Green Chazzan

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In The News


Warrantless Medical Marijuana Raids Unconstitutional, Federal Judge Finds

Pot may be federally illegal, but so is police activity that violates due process. This week, a federal court sided with California medical marijuana patients who are suing Lake County officials for the possibly illegal removal of their cannabis plants. Federal judge Thelton Henderson issued an injunction against the county Tuesday, saying police have to stop ripping up gardens without due process. That’s a major victory for medical cannabis advocates. They say California officials are policing medical marijuana activity illegally some eighteen years after California voters legalized the plant for medical purposes….

SoCal Cops Adopt Shady Marijuana Raid Tactics Seen In Mendocino

Tensions are high this year in marijuana country, where rumors of a gang of mysterious armed men — who descend from the sky in helicopters to cut down cannabis gardens — have been swirling for the past few months.
At first, ripped-off pot growers in Mendocino and Lake counties suspected private security teams or even crooks dressed up as cops as the perpetrators. After all, the tactics used have been described as paramilitary — lots of camo, no badges —  and no charges or even records of the “raids” are filed or left behind….

Judge halts Lake County warrantless raids on medical pot patients

After a series of warrantless raids on the homes of medical marijuana patients under a voter-approved ordinance in Lake County, a federal judge has called a halt, saying officers need court approval before entering private property and seizing pot plants. The patients are likely to succeed in showing that the searches violated their constitutional rights and were not justified by any emergency, U.S. District Judge Thelton Henderson of San Francisco said Tuesday in an injunction that bars further raids without a warrant. Denying an injunction “would leave numerous medical marijuana patients in Lake County vulnerable to future warrantless seizures of their medicine, which could lead to significant pain and suffering,” Henderson said…..

When Misguided Cops Turn The War On Weed Into A War On Growing Things

If law enforcement officials around the country are going to continue cracking down on marijuana grow operations, especially in heavily armed, unannounced raids, maybe they should consider hiring a botanist or two.Earlier this month, Dwayne Perry of Cartersville, Georgia, was startled out of his bed by a low-flying helicopter. Moments later, WSB-TV reports, heavily armed officers and K-9 units with the Governor’s Task Force for drug suppression showed up, apparently believing they were about to make a weed bust. What they found instead: okra. The vegetable….

Paramilitaries Are Eradicating California’s Illegal Marijuana Grows

In the world-renowned California marijuana growing region known as the Emerald Triangle, the telltale “whoop-whoop-whoop” sound from helicopters combing the sparsely populated mountains during pot harvest season typically sends paranoia through the roof. This year is no exception. For the past month, local law enforcement and the feds have been conducting raids across the Emerald Triangle — Humboldt, Mendocino, and Trinity counties in California — using a massive ex-military chopper bearing a worn-down or scraped off US Air Force insignia, eradicating tens of thousands of plants. But this year, there have reportedly been more cases of state and local law enforcement targeting small farmers with fewer than 50 plants, in compliance with state and local regulations, according to Tim Blake who runs the annual cannabis competition Emerald Cup….

San Bernardino to crack down on medical marijuana

A study into possibly allowing some medical marijuana dispensaries is out, and a new program of more aggressive enforcement is in. That’s the decision the City Council came to in a closed-session discussion Monday, City Attorney Gary Saenz said. “At this time, the full Common Council has, by consensus, determined that the city will continue its total land-use ban against dispensaries; will not, at this time, ordain to allow regulated dispensaries, and will incorporate additional and more aggressive methods of enforcement in our quest to rid, or significantly reduce, the number of illegal dispensaries operating in our city,” Saenz said….

Pulling the plug on pot: Anaheim cuts electricity, power to illegal stores

The city is turning the lights off at medical-marijuana dispensaries that illegally opened across the city in a move to get them to leave. The strategy has worked. Last month, nine dispensaries closed, Anaheim spokeswoman Ruth Ruiz said, and eight others likely will be closed by the end of the week. Additionally, 11 others soon will be ordered to shut down or have their water and electricity cut off by Anaheim, which, unlike many cities, operates its own utilities, Ruiz said….

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