Thursday, November 13, 2014

From Pacifist to Assassination Planner in One Easy Step

If we can believe what lifelong spy E. Howard Hunt told his son a short time before his death, he and his friend and colleague Frank Sturgis aka Frank Fiorini had been in contact with a covert operative (contract killer)  named David Morales in Miami in 1963. The story Morales told was that Chief of Western Hemisphere for the CIA, Bill Harvey, had chosen him for a team tasked with the murder of the President. Harvey had told Morales he had been selected by Cord Meyer, Jr., Chief of Covert Action for the CIA, and that Meyer was also working with a Texan named David Atlee Phillips and a Cuban named Antonio Veciano. Following is an excerpt from Saint John Hunt's book, Bond of Secrecy, as well as miscellaneous research relating to the names he mentioned.

Excerpt from 
BOND OF SECRECY 
by SAINT JOHN HUNT
© 2008 Saint John Hunt,
All Rights Reserved
 pages 52- 54

"Now let's understand that what I tell you must be kept in secrecy and you'll never reveal any of this without my approval. Understood?"

I nodded in agreement and then I wheeled him back to his bedroom. After making him as comfortable as I could, this is what he told me.

In 1963 my father and Frank Sturgis met with David Morales, a contract killer for the CIA at a safe house in Miami. Morales explained that he had been picked by Bill Harvey, a rogue and unstable CIA agent with a long history of black ops for a secret "off the board" assignment.

The Chain of Command, according to E. Howard Hunt 

It was Morales' understanding that this project was coming down through a chain of command which started with LBJ, [who was] then the vice President. Intrigued, my father listened on.



Harvey told Morales that he'd been brought in by Cord Meyer, a CIA agent with international connections, who in turn was working with David Phillips and Antonio Veciana. Phillips was CIA station chief in Mexico City and deeply involved in the dangerous world of the Cuban underground. Veciana was the Cuban founder of the violent anti-Castro Alpha 66 group; bent on overthrowing Castro by any means necessary. All these men shared a common ground; a hatred for Kennedy who they felt was dangerous for this country's politicalfuture, and had abandoned them in their time of need.

Cord Meyer had his own reason to hate Kennedy; his wife Mary was one of Kennedy's many mistresses and the gossip surrounding them infuriated Cord who swore revenge. (Later Mary Meyer would be mysteriously murdered and her personal diary stolen. It's interesting to note that James Angleton, chief spook of  counter intelligence was known to have broken in to her apartment and stolen the diary. The rumor was that Mary Meyer had kept detailed notes about Kennedy and perhaps had information about his death. We'll never know.)

Of the men mentioned thus far, my father knew Cord Meyer, David Phillips, Frank Sturgis and Bill Harvey. He'd never met nor heard of Morales until that night and claims he's never heard of Antonio Veciana. This seems unlikely because Alpha 66 was the leading anti-Castro faction in the Cuban underground.

David Atlee Phillips worked with my father closely and was actually recruited into the CIA by him when Phillips worked as a journalist in Santiago, Chile. When Lee Harvey Oswald visited the Russian Consulate in Mexico City in the summer of '63, it was Phillips who was station chief there. Although Phillips denied ever meeting Oswald, Antonio Veciana gave evidence that he had met with Oswald and his case officer, a man known to him only as Maurice Bishop, in Mexico City. Although unwilling to identify Phillips as Bishop, Veciana did provide a detailed description of Bishop to a sketch artist and the resulting drawing looked very much like Phillips.

I sat by my father's bedside and asked "what happened then?"

"Well, I asked them what this assignment was." Sturgis looked at Morales and then at my father and calmly said "killing that son of a bitch Kennedy!" My father said he was stunned but I don't think he would have been that surprised; getting rid of Kennedy was a common topic of conversation among the Cuban exiles. The truth of the matter is that Kennedy was hated by much of the military-industrial complex. He was viewed as soft on communism and many factions of the government, the exiles, the Mafia, and just about everyone else was looking to get Kennedy out. My father then simply asked "You guys seem to have enough people, what is it that you need me for?"

"Well," Frank said, "you're somebody we all look up to…we know how you feel about the man (Kennedy), are you with us?" My father looked around the room for a minute and said "Look, if Bill Harvey has anything to do with this, you can count me out. The man is an alcoholic and a psycho."

"You're right Eduardo", laughed Frank, "but that SOB has the balls to do it." The meeting ended; my father thought it nothing more than the usual 'death to Kennedy' ranting.

The next day when my father and I were alone in the house, we discussed ways that we could divulge certain information to Giamarco and Costner without giving anything away. My father came up with a good solution: put it in code. With that plan in mind, my father provided me with a hand written diagram outlining the chain of command, a list of people who were involved, and a descriptive time line of the events that led to the 'big event'. This was the name we used to refer to JFK's murder. He provided a code for each name such as 'Nu' for LBJ, 'Beta' for Cord Meyer and so forth.

He also wrote a few pages of background material on Sturgis, Phillips, and Cord Meyer. The reason for this was that he wanted me to type out a descriptive outline in code form and fax it to Giamarco. Hopefully it would be enough to initiate a formal agreement and a good faith payment. My father wanted $150,000. to be deposited in an account. In view of the fact that Costner and Giamarco had been dangling a multi-million dollar figure for a documentary, a book, and DVD sales and rentals, I didn't think that $150,000 was too much. I had to wait until Laura was out of the house to type it up and fax it off.

Shooter fired from grassy knoll.
Before I returned to California I had one more conversation about JFK with my father. He related to me that Oswald had in fact fired on the President that day but there was also another man, a French assassin, firing from the famous grassy knoll. The man's' name sounded something like Sarte or Satre and he had probably been recruited for the job by Cord Meyer who had connections to the Corsican underworld. In his own diagram, my father outlined 'French con. Man…grassy knoll'.

 ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Why was Cord Meyer, Jr. interested in stopping publication of Alfred McCoy's The Politics of Heroin in Southeast Asia (Harper and Row, 1972) before it came out in 1972?

See footnote 4 to chapter 13, Henrik Kruger's Great Heroin Coup:
Prior to the publication of this book [Politics of Heroin by McCoy] on 20 August 1972, Cord Meyer, Jr., a CIA covert operations division leader, visited Harper and Row to demand the galleys. The publisher refused, subject to receipt of an official CIA request. When that came, the proofs were delivered over McCoy's objections. The agency returned them with corrections, but the publisher rejected them, and the book was published unaltered.
~~~~~
Brief history Cord Meyer
 
From a summary made  from snips taken from John Simkin's Spartacus website:
Allen W. Dulles made contact with Cord Meyer in 1951. He accepted the invitation to join the CIA. Cord was a graduate of Yale, and a darling of the East Coast elite in power at the time. Dulles told Meyer he wanted him to work on a project that was so secret that he could not be told about it until he officially joined the organization. Meyer was to work under Frank Wisner, director of the Office of Policy Coordination (OPC). This became the espionage and counter-intelligence branch of the CIA.
Wisner was told to create an organization that concentrated on "propaganda, economic warfare; preventive direct action, including sabotage, anti-sabotage, demolition and evacuation measures; subversion against hostile states, including assistance to underground resistance groups, and support of indigenous anti-Communist elements in threatened countries of the free world."
click to enlarge
But by August, 1953, Joseph McCarthy had accused Cord Meyer of being a communist!
By 1954, Cord Meyer became disillusioned with life in the CIA. It would not be the last time. In November, 1954, Meyer replaced Thomas Braden as head of International Organizations Division. Meyer began spending a lot of time in Europe. One of Meyer's tasks was to supervise Radio Free Europe and Radio Liberty, the United States government broadcasts to Eastern Europe.
According to Nina Burleigh (A Very Private Woman) Meyer was "overseeing a vast 'black' budget of millions of dollars channeled through phony foundations to a global network of associations and labor groups that on their surface appeared to be progressive".
~~~~~~~~~~~~
Young Man on a Crusade in 1948

Time Magazine - OPINION:
"In a Drawing Room," Feb. 16, 1948 

Cord Meyer, 1948
Cord Meyer Jr., 27, is a pale young man with a preoccupied smile and wavy brown hair. His paleness and his preoccupation are the marks of war: he was very nearly killed on Guam. He lost an eye and had his face shattered when a Jap grenade exploded in his foxhole.* Since his discharge from the Marines, Cord Meyer has been a young man on a crusade. He is the president of United World Federalists, which seeks to save the world through a limited federation before an atomic war destroys it.

He has been talking night & day, at colleges, over the radio, to public audiences, to anyone and everyone who will listen. He has written a book (Peace or Anarchy) which, while not exactly a bestseller, has gone into five printings of 13,000 copies.

Last week he spoke in the graceful drawing room of Manhattan's English Speaking Union.
The middle-aged audience listened to him attentively, then engaged him in spirited debate. Cord Meyer is quick on his feet, sure of his position, talks fast, and is convinced that there is no time to lose.

The Plan. 

Cord Meyer is the son of a wealthy New York real estate man and onetime diplomat. Before World War II, he was a top honor student at Yale and editor of the Yale Lit. After he was wounded and sent home from the Pacific, he married Mary Pinchot, the comely niece of Pennsylvania's late Governor Gifford Pinchot. He had got started on his crusade when he served as "veteran aide" to Delegate Harold Stassen at the San Francisco Conference. There he saw the United Nations born. He deplored the veto, which left U.N. virtually powerless to prevent aggression.

The Hope. 

He sees no hope in U.N. as it is now, calling it "a weak league of sovereign, armed states preparing for war." As his ideas took shape, he framed a program. He wants: 1) an agreement among all nations to surrender their arms to U.N., retaining only a force big enough to keep internal order; 2) a U.N. police force to defend all nations from aggression; and 3) an Assembly acting as the world's chief legislative body, with a Security Council acting as a Cabinet.

He is not proposing a One-World government and world constitution; that would take too much time — more time, he thinks, than the world has. He is young enough to feel that his elders are timid, and mature enough to know that the present uneasy peace cannot last. And he is being heard. He disregards cynics. He thinks of himself as a practical realist and considers optimism foolish but hope necessary. "If this hope is naive," he says, "then it is naive to hope."

* His twin brother was killed on Okinawa.

~~~
CREATING A NEW WORLD ORDER IN 1950

Time Magazine - THE CONGRESS:
"World Architects," Monday, Feb. 27, 1950 

Will Clayton of Houston, TX
For a fortnight the members of the special Senate Foreign Relations subcommittee had sat with furrowed brows, listening intently to eight different proposals for taking apart and reassembling the world. By last week their files were stacked with thick mimeographed statements and their heads whirled from the barrage of testimony.

"Stalin is winning the cold war," warned white-thatched Will Clayton, onetime Under Secretary of State. "Even if we should be so fortunate as to
escape another shooting war there will hardly be any occasion for great rejoicing if we find ourselves . . . isolated politically and eco nomically, our friends picked off one by one and added to Russia's satellites . . ."


Sincerity & Good Will.

Clayton was speaking for the Atlantic Union Committee, headed by former Supreme Court Justice Owen Roberts. Atlantic Union was a lineal descendant of Union Now, founded and expounded by Clarence Streit, longtime crusader for a union of free peoples. Its blueprint envisioned a political, military and economic federation of the original seven North Atlantic Treaty [NATO] nations (U.S., Canada, Britain, France, The Netherlands, Belgium and Luxembourg).

Others were working towards much the same goal by somewhat different paths:
  • ex-marine Cord Meyer Jr., whose United World Federalists was designed to transform the U.N. itself into a world government; 
  • Hamilton Fish Armstrong, editor of Foreign Affairs, who urged the "faithful members" of U.N. to bypass the Soviet veto and go on about their pressing business; 
  • Ely Culbertson, high priest of contract bridge, who wanted an international land, sea and air force (drawn principally from small nations) to prevent aggression.
No one doubted the sincerity or good will of any of the planners. All were bold and imaginative. They had in common a mingled sense of urgency and high ideals. But their congressional audience listened with increasing skepticism.

Pertinent Questions. 

The skepticism was reinforced by Assistant Secretary of State John D. Hickerson, who brought up some painfully realistic facts. He raised a pertinent question: "Just how far are we willing to go in compromising our way of life and our institutions?" Was the U.S. willing to agree to common citizenship, a common currency and taxes, a common standard of living within any federation? Who, he asked, could be sure that other nations would agree that the laws and institutions of the U.S. should be the basis for world government? Said Hickerson: "How far would the American people be prepared to go in altering our form of government? Are they prepared to have the representatives of the American people a minority in the parliament of such a union?"

The U.S., added Hickerson, was already moving as rapidly as practicable toward closer world relations through the Atlantic pact, ECA and the U.N. "The establishment at this time of such a federation," said Hickerson, "far from providing additional strength, could be a source of weakness and greater internal divisions."

The Senators seemed to agree. By week's end they were beginning to feel like bewildered home builders who had listened to too many architects. They limited witnesses sternly to five minutes and indicated that they would settle for a resolution pledging renewed U.S. support to the aims and ideals of U.N.—which, after all, was only five years old.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
 The White Russian--A Powerful Cocktail

From: THE JFK CASE: The Twelve Who Built The Oswald Legend
(Part 6: White Russians Keep An Eye On Oswald In Dallas) By Bill Simpich

The Dallas-Fort Worth community of Soviet and Eastern European emigres - referred to as "White Russians" - took Oswald and his family under their wing upon their arrival from the USSR in May 1962. Consider the importance of White Russian defectors as spies. A re-defector like Lee Harvey Oswald was even more exotic. The ability of a defector to report what is happening behind enemy lines is the ultimate counterintelligence prize.

The White Russian community settled on using George de Mohrenschildt as Oswald's mentor, one of the few liberals in the community who enjoyed spending time with the man. This chapter will focus on de Mohrenschildt's intelligence connections with Radio Free Europe, key RFE officials Allen Dulles and Cord Meyer, and CI chief James Angleton....

Solidarists were being used by CIA in early 1963.
The Dallas White Russian community was tightly aligned with an anti-Soviet movement known by its Russian initials of "NTS" (National Alliance of Russian Solidarists). NTS was founded in 1930 by "second generation" White Russian emigres. At that time, most of them were living in Yugoslavia and Bulgaria. Yugoslavia is where Mr. and Mrs. Igor Voshinin met and married in early 1940 - they moved to Dallas, were active in NTS, and knew Oswald. During this era, "Solidarism" was a quasi-fascist ideology that saw corporations as an ideal and Benito Mussolini as a model of leadership.

In the 1940s, NTS was thoroughly enmeshed with Hitler's war effort. After Germany attacked the USSR during World War II, NTS was allowed to set up a Berlin headquarters and encouraged to proselytize in Soviet territories under German control among both POWs and civilians. When the tides of war shifted, NTS swung back into alliance with the Americans.

After World War II, the CIA included NTS within the Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty organization. Radio Free Europe focused on the East European Soviet satellites, while Radio Liberty focused on the USSR itself. A House report described Radio Free Europe and Radio Free Liberty as "the best known CIA proprietaries". These were pet projects of International Organizations chief Cord Meyer, who headed these radios from 1954 to 1971. Meyer consulted directly and frequently to CIA director Allen Dulles before making any controversial decisions. As described earlier in this series, CI chief Jim Angleton and Cord Meyer were the best of friends. Meyer described Angleton as his hero. They were also Legend Makers #1 and #2 for Lee Harvey Oswald, as they had very special relationships with the people who either befriended or studied Oswald.

After meeting with Meyer, Radio Liberty decreed that anyone adhering to NTS' "organizational discipline" would not be allowed to work at RL. NTS infiltrated and dominated groups that challenged its supremacy. NTS members tried to sabotage the installations and intimidate the exile staffs. Meyer saw it as part of his responsibility to "try to provide the radio with the counter-intelligence protection against this continuing intimidation...it was a never ending task".

...De Mohrenschildt had an extremely deep background with the intelligence community, going back for more than twenty years. His handler appears to have been Thomas Schreyer, identified as "the acting chief" of the Cord Meyer's International Organizations Division [IOD] back in 1956. This means that Schreyer worked very closely with Cord Meyer. [IOD merged in October 1962 with covert action staff.] In April 1963, the Domestic Operations Division asked for traces on de Mohrenschildt, with Schreyer's name provided as the source for any follow-up....

The CIA admitted before the assassination that de Mohrenschildt was "of interest" to them. CIA Dallas resident agent J. Walton Moore stayed in touch with de Mohrenschildt, which will be discussed later in this series. Covert action chief Richard Helms acknowledged that de Mohrenschildt and his wife provided useful foreign intelligence in 1957. His brother Dimitri von Mohrenschildt, described by the CIA as being "employed in a confidential capacity by the U.S. government," is said to have been one of the founders of Radio Free Europe and Radio Liberty. A lengthy CIA-created list entitled "Companies and People Known to be Associated with de Mohrenschildt" includes only one political group: "Dallas Committee Radio Free Europe." De Mohenschildt's wife in Philadelphia, Phyllis Washington, also worked for Radio Free Europe in the early fifties.


The Radio Free Europe connection is an important link between Cord Meyer and George de Mohrenschildt. George couldn't get OSS credentials during World War II because of security disapproval. He was subjected to five separate investigations by intelligence during the 1940s and 50s. Officers like Meyer and Schreyer, however, understood the nature of his relationship with people such as the Jacqueline Bouvier family and the White Russian community. A CIA memo notes that George knew the families of the Kennedys and the Oswalds better than anyone else.

One of George's contacts exposes his hidden CIA connections. In 1954, a young oil lawyer named Herbert Itkin wrangled a meeting in Philadelphia with Allen Dulles, the first chief of Radio Free Europe and future CIA chief. Dulles set him up with a meeting with de Mohrenschildt, who told Itkin he was "from that man in Philadelphia" and that his name was Philip Harbin. William Gaudet verified at an HSCA deposition that he knew George under his alias as Philip Harbin. De Mohrenschildt's beloved and soon-to-be new wife, Jeanne, was from Harbin, China. Angleton testified that Dulles was a very close friend of his own family. Angleton had both an Itkin file and a "Mike/Portio/Haiti" file (Itkin's code name was Portio). Itkin claimed he met "Harbin" in 1954, while CIA general counsel Larry Houston claimed that he could not find any Itkin files prior to 1964 after thousands of hours of search. This was probably because Angleton's personal Itkin and Portio files were kept apart from the CIA records system, and were only discovered after Angleton was fired in 1974. All indications are that de Mohrenschildt was provided to Dulles by Angleton.

Working under the Harbin alias, de Mohrenschildt worked with Itkin in oil matters as a nonpaid, voluntary agent between 1954 to 1960, before Itkin moved on to work with another agent. Itkin's skills enabled US Attorney Bob Morgenthau to win convictions against New York political boss Carmine DeSapio and city commissioner James Marcus. Morgenthau's office described Itkin as "probably the most important informer the FBI ever had outside the espionage field. He never lied to us. His information was always accurate."

By May 1963, Itkin became the attorney for the Haitian government-in-exile. CIA documents show that Itkin's handler in 1963 was Mario Brod, who was recruited in Italy by James Angleton during World War II and had operational involvements in Haiti. Before his brother was killed, Bobby Kennedy himself was relying on mob tips from Itkin. In 1966, Itkin was reportedly researching under his code name "Portio," while Angleton held onto his private "Mike/Portio/Haiti" file. In 1968, CIRA (CI research and analysis chief) Ray Rocca swore that the "CI Staff definitely never was in contact" with Itkin. By 1971, CIRA's bird-dog investigator Paul Hartman was asking to review Itkin's CIA file, no doubt to educate himself on some fine points....

A report by the House Select Committee on Assassinations described Radio Free Europe and Radio Free Liberty as "the best known CIA proprietaries": Narration by G. Robert Blakey, Chief Counsel, HSCA Appendix Volumes/ HSCA Report, Volume IV, p. 3.
Cord Meyer was the division chief in charge of Radio Free Europe and Radio Liberty from 1954 until 1971: Puddington, p. 24.

After meeting with Meyer, Radio Liberty decreed that anyone adhering to NTS' "organizational discipline" would not be allowed to work at RL, because of NTS' history of infiltrating organizations and dominating them: Puddington, p. 162.

NTS had its headquarters near Berlin in Frankfurt: Memorandum by Thomas A. Parrott to the Special Group, 4/26/63, p. 3, Miscellaneous CIA Series / NARA Record Number: 104-10306-10024.

Meyer saw it as part of his responsibility to "try to provide the radio with the counter-intelligence protection against this continuing intimidation"...: Cord Meyer, Facing Reality, pp. 120-121.

Coffin looked back on the experience: "It was a fundamentally bad idea...we were quite naive about the use of American power.": Tim Weiner, Legacy of Ashes (New York, Doubleday: 2007), p. 47.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~

The pattern of using secret fund-raising organizations, ostensibly set up for charitable purposes, as cover for CIA activity is so prolific that we venture to say that this pattern has in effect replaced the U.S. Constitution with the model for how the American government works today. It was what Congressman Wright Patman from Texas warned us about before his death, a cry taken up by Congressman Henry B. Gonzales--both men elected from different districts in Texas. (See Final Report of Select Committee to Study Government Operations (1976), p. 185. under the heading "Cover is Blown: The Patman and Ramparts 'Flaps'."

While helping Catherine Austin Fitts, a friend who worked in the first George Bush presidency, discover how a business she created had been destroyed by some unknown force,  another part of the pattern was disclosed. As explained in the March 30, 2012 post at Cold Case Conspiracy Update Catherine Austin Fitts was fighting the same "financial model" of government action used in killing JFK:
The NEH [National Endowment for the Humanities] was set up in 1965 after President Lyndon Johnson apparently realized that his assassinated predecessor John Kennedy had appointed a close friend, William Walton, Chairman of the Fine Arts Commission, to assume a covert role in making a back channel contact with Nikita Kruschev of the Soviet Union. Citing David Talbot's book, Brothers, Peter Janney reveals in his own book, Mary's Mosaic, that within days of the assassination of JFK,

Bobby and Jackie [Kennedy] asked their close friend [Walton] to quickly reschedule his artistic mission to Russia. They wanted him to deliver a special, secret message to Georgi Bolshakov, formerly a KGB agent under journalistic cover in Washington, who [sic] the Kennedys had come to rely upon when they needed to communicate with Khrushchev directly during critical moments. Indeed, Bolshakov had once been referred to by Newsweek as the "Russian New Frontiersman" because he had become so close to Bobby.... Bobby and Jackie knew that through Bolshakov their message to the Soviets would be directly communicated to Nikita Khrushchev. They wanted "the Russian who [sic] they felt best understood John Kennedy to know their personal opinions of the changes in the U.S. government since the assassination."
After passage of a federal statute setting up the NEH in 1965, President Johnson named former president of Brown University, Barnaby C. Keeney, to be its first chairman. We learn from Martha Mitchell’s Encyclopedia Brunoniana:
In 1978 it was revealed that Keeney had worked for the Central Intelligence Agency while he was president of Brown. He admitted that he had advised the CIA in matters such as “setting up covert funding operations,” adding in explanation, “I suppose nowadays it is improper to attempt to serve your country ... but then I felt I was doing what I should.” In 1962 Keeney set up the Human Ecology Fund, which Alex Constantine describes in Virtual Government as "the financial hub of MK-ULTRA."

The Human Ecology Fund had been originally created as the Society for the Investigation of Human Ecology by Harold Wolff. As explained by the author of this last linked essay:
Though largely unexamined, the extent of covert CIA funding of American-funded social science research during the 1950s and 1960s was extraordinary. This unexamined state of affairs is all the more problematic considering that over three decades ago, the US Senate Select Committee to Study Governmental Operations with Respect to Intelligence Activities [the "Church Committee"] found that
[t]he CIA’s intrusion into the foundation field in the 1960s can only be described as massive. Excluding grants from the ‘Big Three’ – Ford, Rockefeller, and Carnegie – of the 700 grants over $10,000 given by 164 other foundations during the period 1963-1966, at least 108 involved partial or complete CIA funding. More importantly, CIA funding was involved in nearly half the grants the non-‘Big Three’ foundations made during this period in the field of international activities. In the same period more than one-third of the grants awarded by non-‘Big Three’ in the physical, life and social sciences also involved CIA funds.

Bona fide foundations, rather than those controlled by the CIA, were considered the best and most plausible kind of funding cover for certain kinds of operations. A 1966 CIA study explained the use of legitimate foundations was the most effective way of concealing the CIA’s hand as well as [falsely] reassuring members of funding organizations that the organization was in fact supported by private funds. The Agency study contended that this technique was ‘particularly effective for democratically run membership organizations, which need to assure their own unwitting members and collaborators, as well as their hostile critics, that they have genuine, respectable, private sources of income.’ (US Senate 1976: 182-183) [All emphasis added by QJ]
The Chief of the Covert Action Staff at the time President Kennedy was murdered was none other than Cord Meyer, Jr. We find in top secret sanitized documents released in 1998 that Meyer was reporting to the President's PFIAB, chaired by Dr. James Rhyne Killian, former president of Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Killian was appointed in 1956  by President Eisenhower and served until April 1963. That same month Clark Clifford moved up from being a member of the President's Foreign Intelligence Advisory Board to replace Killian as chairman. When President Kennedy took office in January 1961, Clark Clifford had been appointed his special counsel--the same position, incidentally, which John Dean was given in Richard Nixon's White House.

James R. Killian
 Killian only two months before his resignation had become a director at AT&T, formerly known as Bell Labs before its merger with Western Electric. It will be remembered that Ruth Paine's father, William Avery Hyde, educated as a chemical engineer, had worked in New York City at Bell Labs before the company moved many of its operations to Murray Hill, New Jersey.

After Ruth was born in 1932, at some point prior to 1935, the Hyde family had moved to Malboro Township in Monmouth County, New Jersey, approximately 40 miles from AT&T/Bell Lab's new office in Murray Hill. Yet, the chemical engineer reported his occupation as insurance salesman in 1940.


James R. Killian was "so very important in setting up the national security system during the Eisenhower administration. Key player in setting up the Institute for Defense Analyses, the President's Science Advisory Committee, DARPA, a Princeton-located think tank for the NSA, MITRE and the NRO. He was a MITRE trustee and a board member of the Office of Defense Mobilization. He could also be found at MIT and Tulane and was a close associate of Vannevar Bush."

Killian's replacement as chairman of PFIAB was Clark Clifford (1906-1998). Special Counsel to the President, 1946-1950; Senior Partner, Clifford & Miller, 1950-1968; President's Foreign Intelligence Advisory Board member, 1961-1968, Chairman, 1963-1968; Secretary of Defense, March 1968-January 1969; Senior Partner, Clifford & Warnke, 1969-1991. 

"Clifford recalled that for him the two most valuable members of PFIAB were scientists Dr. Edwin Land, inventor of the Polaroid Land camera, and Dr. William Baker, who brought to the PFIAB the most recent scientific knowledge and discoveries bearing on the technical acquisition of intelligence information. (Counsel to the President: A Memoir, New York: Random House, 1991, pages 350 ff.)"

Monday, November 10, 2014

Communists and Anti-Communists Meet Under Ground

In our last post, we moved from Palo Alto, California, where Ruth Hyde Paine's father grew up, and where her mother's family settled shortly before the two young people met and received baccalaureate degrees from Stanford in the mid-1920s. The reason for the abrupt departure of chronology was the need to discuss a memorandum dated 21 Dec.1955 that referred to acquaintances of  Ruth's father, William A. Hyde during the days he had been at Stanford:

Re: Orr, Paul & Violet
William A. Hyde was in Washington this last week-end, visiting his daughter and son-in-law, Sylvia and John Hoke, 763 Kennedy, N.E. The latter invited [REDACTED] and me over to meet him on Saturday night, 17 December, since we three were friends at Stanford. 
This 1955 memorandum from Stanford graduate and CIA Foreign Document specialist Talbot Bielefeldt to the the man in charge of researching the background of CIA employees and their contacts remained classified until, "sanitized" in 1998, it was deemed safe for public consumption. We wanted to explore the various divisions within the CIA and the background of the personnel before revealing what our own research shows about the persons being discussed.


(Read Part I, Part II, PART III, Part IV, Part V)
 

Part VI
LEE H. OSWALD AND RUTH HYDE PAINE:
The Big Picture
By Linda Minor


Preparing to Enter "the Real World"

Stanford as it was in 1923
The Stanford campus had been new and polished in 1923-26, when these young students graduated and set out to change the world. By 1955, while Senator Joseph McCarthy was cranking up his Red Scare tactics, Talbot was reporting to Bruce Solie, of the CIA's Security staff, about a recent meeting involving some of his closest friends from those college days.

As a major in political science, Talbot joined Alpha Pi Zeta, a fraternity for history, economics, and political science majors, and he was involved in a debating society, one of whose sponsors was Dr. Yamato Ichihashi, a Japanese-American professor who, though he lived almost all his life in the United States, would be interned for three years in "relocation centers" during WWII. The Japanese camps were set up at about the same time Talbot was a student at the Japanese Language School at Berkeley, before it was moved to Boulder. It was Dr. Ichihashi who had sponsored Talbot's summer in Japan in 1924; the tour was made available every year for Dr. Ichihashi's students. Buddy Tseuneo Iwata, for example, made the tour in 1938. He would be released from internment in 1942 in order to teach Japanese at the Japanese Language School in Boulder taught by Florence Walne until her untimely death in 1946.

Talbot's return from Yokoham in 1924 (click to enlarge).

Little did Talbot know when he graduated in 1925 that Stanford's most illustrious alumnus would be elected U.S. President three years later, though he must have known that Hoover, whose family owned a home just south of the campus, that he had been serving as Secretary of Commerce since 1921. In fact, Talbot graduated from Stanford the same year as Hoover's eldest son. In their sophomore year, both had been nominated to serve on behalf of their class for different offices.

The Cosmopolitan Club, which brought in noted speakers with an international point of view, had been created by Stanford's first president, David Starr Jordan, with the help of Dr. Ichihashi. The club was also sponsored and promoted on campus by Dr. Ray Lyman Wilbur, who was the university's president during the years Talbot and his friends were students. Wilbur had taken a leave of absence in 1917 to serve as Herbert Hoover’s second in command in the Wartime Food Administration, and would also depart for Washington in 1929 to serve as the newly elected President Hoover’s Secretary of the Interior. These connections undoubtedly led to the promise of important, if perhaps secret, government work for Talbot Bielefeldt and his colleagues.

Ruth's mom, 1924
Talbot may not have known W.A. Hyde, who was two years ahead of him in Stanford's chemistry department, but he knew Carol Hyde (class of 1924) from the Cosmopolitan Club. Carol, like her husband, was Phi Beta Kappa, the national honorary scholarship fraternity, but her primary interests were music-related. She joined the Schubert Club and the Music Club. Thus, it would have been Carol's motivating influence on daughter Ruth which involved her in folk singing and dancing, an activity in which she was engaged when she met Michael Paine in 1957.

The other two students mentioned in the subject line of Bielefeldt's 1955 memo may indicate whom Talbot  meant by "we three were at Stanford together," although, if that is the case, it is unclear why a name was redacted from the body of the memo (at top of this post). The redacted name of the person invited by John Hoke to his home could not have been either Paul Wright Orr or his wife, Violet May Balcomb Orr, who lived in California. To whom was he referring, and why was the subject of the memo seemingly so unrelated?

Paul Orr, as we observe from the bio clipped from the Stanford yearbook, served in the Cosmopolitan Club's cabinet with Talbot during their sophomore and junior years. Violet was treasurer of the club during their senior year when Talbot was also a cabinet member. Therefore, these three students were likely somewhat close throughout their last three years at the university. In addition, both Paul and Talbot were in the Sequoia Club together, the Sequoia being Stanford's quarterly literary magazine. The Orrs, like the Hydes, married in 1926, though Talbot remained single for ten years, later marrying a woman he met in New York.

The year was 1926 when all five students departed California. It was the jazz age, and all America was tuned into radio and Victrola recordings of Bye Bye Blackbird, a fitting melody for young men and women poised to enter the "real world."

William A. and Carol Hyde in New York

William Avery Hyde (W.A.), the oldest of the five, had not been a member of any clubs. In fact, W.A.'s  photo did not appear in the Quad yearbook at any time while he was a student, although his name was shown in the 1923 and 1924 yearbooks as a member of Phi Lambda Upsilon, the honorary chemistry fraternity, and also in 1924 as a Phi Beta Kappa honoree. I have not been able to find any photograph of either him or his father, who was a municipal leader in Palo Alto for many years, an admirer of the Progressive movement of Republican President Theodore Roosevelt.

It is likely through W.A.'s excellence in chemistry that he secured employment in New York City at the AT&T's Bell Laboratories shortly after his 1923 graduation, coupled with influence possibly from his well-known father or uncle, James McDonald Hyde, who had known Herbert Hoover's brother Tad Hoover for many years. W.A. and Carol Hyde set up housekeeping together in 1926 in New York as W.A. used his chemistry degree to get a job in the telephone industry in which A.T. & T. had a legal monopoly.

First public demonstration of "television" at Bell Labs
We can only wonder whether W.A. was present on-site when then Secretary of Commerce Herbert Hoover's live image was broadcast to Bell Labs in New York from Washington, D.C., the first public demonstration of how television would work. It was one of many promises of what the future of technology held in store for the world.

Hoover held the Commerce position in the Cabinets of both Republican Presidents Harding and Coolidge throughout the 1920's until his own election to the Presidency in 1928. From Hoover's Quaker upbringing, his education at Stanford and his mining career, he had acquired world view which today seems alien from our knowledge of what Republicans have become over the last 80 years or so. His philosophy was one of optimism and cooperation, believing:
...that the American economy would be healthier if business leaders worked together, and with government officials and experts from the social sciences, in a form of private-sector economic planning. This stance led him to support trade associations—industry-wide cooperative groups wherein information on prices, markets, and products could be exchanged among competitors—which Hoover saw as a middle way between competition and monopoly. He insisted, though, that participation in these associations remain voluntary and that the government merely promote and encourage, rather than require, their establishment.
40 Morningside at 118th, NY
The Hydes remained in New York through at least the birth of their youngest child, a second girl, whom they name Ruth Avery Hyde, who entered the world in 1932. Their home at that time was an apartment at 40 Morningside Avenue, adjacent to the Church of Notre Dame near the campus of Columbia Teachers College. The building faced out on a beautiful park, perfect for Carol to take the children for a stroll while William made a short commute to Bell Labs in downtown, but still on the West Side.

The 1930 census record, which shows their address, also indicates that the Hydes had a boarder living with them that year--none other than future CIA foreign document expert Talbot Bielefeldt, whom we met earlier!

Talbot Bielefeldt lived with William A. and Carol Hyde in New York, 1930 (click to enlarge).
How did they meet ... and where?
Talbot, who by then had a degree in political science and possibly a master's degree from Columbia, listed his occupation in 1930 as a bill clerk at a collection agency. He was also enumerated that year at his parents' home in Placentia, California, where they, too, listed him as a "collector at a collection agency (code 6792)". He continued to have a separate listing at his parents' citrus ranch address in the Placentia directory, though no occupation was shown until he was appointed the town's Postmaster by President Roosevelt in 1936. Where was Talbot during these years from 1930 to 1936 which led up to his appointment?

See Mike Wallace's 1957 interview of Browder.
Could he have been working under cover even then for counter intelligence, possibly in the guise of a clerk at the Retail Credit agency which reported back to FBI, as we shall later observe. Equally intriguing is the fact that he met his wife, Eugenie Pfeil, news editor for the weekly Bronxville Review, during the time that Earl W. Browder, general secretary of the Community Party USA, lived in Yonkers with his Russian-born wife, Raissa, about five miles from the Pfeils' home. Was Talbot part of a secret agency within the Hoover administration, years even before the Office of Strategic Services was created? Could he have had Communists like Browder under surveillance in Yonkers, and in the process met his future wife?

Paul W. Orr and Violet Balcomb Orr

Formerly classified files not released until the 1980's inform us that, as early as 1935 the FBI was aware that Violet Orr was working at San Francisco's 1026 Market Street office of he American League Against War and Fascism, a Communist group in which Elizabeth Turrill Bentley, "the Red Spy Queen," was a member as early as 1932. She was studied by Mary Ferrell, who added her to her timeline of Communist activities leading up to the assassination in 1963. Ferrell compared Bentley to Hede Massing, formerly the wife of Gerhart Eisler and the controller of Russian underground in Washington, D.C., which included Alger Hiss. Ferrell also added to her timeline a contact in San Francisco called Volkov, who may well have been the first husband of Elena Volkov aka Helen Silvermaster. We mention the fact that Elizabeth Bentley, in fact, died of a fast-growing cancer just ten days after President Kennedy was shot.

Ferrell also recounted in her chronology the fact that Alger Hiss, who had been Hede Massing in 1935, was married in 1929 to a woman named Priscilla Fansler, born in Evanston, Illinois in 1903. In 1930 this young couple was living and working in Washington, D.C. where he was licensed to practice law, and she obtained a job as a researcher for the government; they lived at 1251 30th Street, N.W., an upscale Georgetown address. A decade later they were in the same neighborhood at 3415 Volta Place. Ferrell's comments relative to Ruth Paine after Fansler's name are unclear.

The next mention of Bentley in Ferrell's timeline is in 1938, when she joined the Jacob Golos network he controlled under his corporation called World Tourists, Inc. in New York City. Not until 1941 did Bentley identify Irving Kaplan, by then working in Washington, D.C. for the War Production Board, as a member of her Communist cell within the Silvermaster group. Shortly after that label was placed on him, the FBI was conducting both "technical" and physical surveillance of Irving Kaplan and his wife, Dorothy Friedland Kapan, and, as a result, the FBI report mentioned the Kaplans' connection to Violet Orr, whom the FBI counter-intelligence branch considered "a prominent Communist." This information was part of the FBI's BUFILE 65-56402, tucked away in a report prepared by J. Edgar Hoover's assistant D. Milton "Mickie" Ladd, the son of deceased Senator Edwin Ladd of North Dakota. But the report was not compiled until 1946, when it was sent to officials in Truman's administration.

We can only speculate about who it was who opened an investigation of the office where Violet Orr worked ...in 1935, when she opened the letter addressed to Dorothy Friedland Kaplan. This branch of the League was also connected to Russian-born Helen (Vera Witte) Silvermaster, daughter of Sergei Yulyevitch Witte. Helen came to America in 1923 by way of China with her first husband. She lived in San Francisco and gave birth to a son, Anatole Boris Volkov, shortly before she began living with the notorious Soviet spy, Nathan Gregory Silvermaster.

The FBI investigation of Chambers' allegations may have been requested by FDR's Assistant Secretary of State Adolph Berle after he was introduced to Whittaker Chambers by Isaac Don Levine in September 1939, but that was four years after Violet was in San Francisco. According to the testimony Levine gave to the House Un-American Activities Committee in 1948, Chambers had left the Communist Party in 1937 and lived in hiding within the United States until the news of the Hitler-Stalin Pact in 1939 scared him to the point of taking action. Only then did he seek out Levine, a journalist, to whom he told his confidential story in the hope he could reveal what he knew to President Roosevelt about the infiltration of Communists within the U.S. Government. A few months later, Levine took him to the home of Assistant Secretary of State Adolph Berle at a home he rented from Secretary of War Henry Stimson, but after listening for several hours to Whittaker Chambers, Berle never contacted either of the two men again. Levine assumed the matter had died.

However, in Adolph Berle's testimony before HUAC, he related what he had done in response to the information he had been furnished by Chambers. He "caused the Department [of State] to establish very close relations with the Federal Bureau of Investigation," and he apparently instigation the organization of a division called the "Foreign Activities Correlation Division," which following the National Security Act of 1947 merged into another division within the State Department. He also helped to enact the Foreign Agents Registration Act. Berle left the State Department after a "showdown" with Dean Acheson in 1944.

Acheson, however, had resigned from FDR's Treasury department in protest when the administration remained the gold backing on the dollar. However, in 1940 Acheson was brought back into the administration within the State Department. It was in that role that haggling took place between him and Berle, who until that point was in charge of intelligence matters within the State Department. Berle claimed to have been ousted from his role in the State Department after telling FDR what he had been told by Whittaker Chambers, and said that the substitution by Acheson  "worried" him, telling HUAC he was also quite concerned about leaks of secret information from the State Department that he had noticed appearing in news columns, especially with regard to the Yalta Conference.

Admiral William D. Leahy with Joint Chiefs from military
The FBI Report was transmitted to Admiral William D. Leahy and Secretary of State James Byrnes, and Attorney General Tom Clark in 1946. That was, coincidentally, the same year Richard Nixon was elected to Congress ... in the same district where Talbot Bielefeldt had been Postmaster during the late 1930's. It may be recalled that Admiral Leahy (equivalent to what is now chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff) was related to Tennent H. "Pete" Bagley on his mother's side, that Pete's father, in addition to being brother-in-law to Secretary of the Navy Josephus Daniels, rose to the rank of vice admiral before his retirement in 1947.

Violet at American League Against War and Fascism, 1935
Based on what Berle called the "very close relationship" he had promoted with the FBI after meeting Chambers in 1939, Special Agent R.C. Taylor in the San Francisco FBI office had Dorothy Friedland Kaplan (inset to the right), under surveillance when he made a report on June 29, 1941. However, I have been unable to discover why the Bureau would have opened the captioned case file, "Paul Wright Orr, with aliases, et al., Internal Security - C."

Taylor's report, no copy of which has surfaced, ostensibly contained documentation for the stated conclusions that:
  • Violet Balcomb Orr was an associate of Dorothy Friedland in March 1935 (both referred to as "professional grafters"); 
  • that Violet succeeded Dorothy as secretary of the American League Against War and Fascism (1026 Market Street in San Francisco) in April; and
  • in that capacity, Violet was in receipt of a letter sent by the head of the CPUSA Earl Browder from New York to Friedland at that San Francisco address. 
What is not clear from the report is who requested such surveillance in 1935. Could surveillance have been opened much earlier by someone on the staff of President Herbert Hoover, whose Labor Secretary William Doak had charged that protests against the President's policies were not only politically motivated but inspired by Communists, specifically by an organization called "Friends of the Soviet Union"? Hoover's Secretary of Labor Doak attempted to connect John J. Ballam, the organizer of that group to Earl Browder, chairman of the CPUSA as early as December 1931 (see news clipping at left). If so, it appears that J. Edgar Hoover continued to have his agents following up on these cases, even after FDR took office in 1933.

Background on the Orrs

Violet's father, Jean Bart Balcomb, according to the 1920 census, was a civil engineer and designer of a hydroelectric and irrigation project in Oregon before moving to Palo Alto, where he died in 1927. According to Violet's Oral History (digitized on 24 separate MP3 recordings), conducted under a 1976 oral history project by California Historical Society documenting lives of female labor activist/  radicals in California, Violet and Paul Orr moved to New York City in 1926 to work on their master's degrees at Columbia Teachers College, where Violet taught during 1927-28 term in the department of education-psychology.

At the conclusion of the spring of 1928 term, she mentions on the oral history tape discussions they had with some Columbia professors who had recently returned from the Soviet Union, who  encouraged the Orrs to go there. Violet discusses the time spent in Leningrad and Moscow, but unfortunately, there is no transcript.

Public Immigration records reveal that, upon their return from the Soviet Union via Naples, in 1930, they gave their destination address in the U.S. as 40 Morningside Avenue in New York City--the address of the same apartment building in which W.A. and Carol Hyde shared a unit with Talbot Bielefeldt during that same year (see census record above). It was at approximately the same time that Elizabeth Bentley returned from her first trip to Italy, boarding a ship in Southampton.

Could Bentley Have Connected with Our Stanford Grads?

The next year Bentley returned from Naples, and in 1934 from Trieste--on the last occasion giving her U.S. address in care of  "Dr. Turrill" in Kent, Connecticut. In 1946 she flew by Colonial Airlines from Montreal, giving her address as the Hotel St. George in Brooklyn. In 1947, Bentley made numerous trips to the Caribbean, returning from Puerto Rico in March, and again in August and November 1947 from Bermuda--all three times flying Pan Am into LaGuardia and giving the same hotel as her address.

It was during these years also that Sir William Stephenson, head of the British Security Coordinator (BSC) office was helping FDR's intelligence man, William J. Donovan, appointed Coordinator of Information in the summer of 1941, to construct America's first intelligence agency, the Office of Strategic Services. Could Bentley have, in fact, been working undercover for the government? Camp X was located near Montreal, and Stephenson also had his hideouts in Jamaica and Bermuda, as we have previously researched at this blog (search 'Stephenson' in search block at right, orange frame).

When we look at Miss Bentley's Vassar yearbooks, her name appeared in the class of 1930 with that of Jane Acheson, daughter of Secretary of State Dean Acheson. We can only wonder at this point whether the two young women were well acquainted, if at all.


Although several documents have leaked out, someone in the government is still hiding information about the following persons:
  1. William and Carol Hyde--parents of Ruth Avery Hyde Paine;
  2. Talbot Bielefeldt--a known foreign documents expert trained in 1941 by a Naval Reserve Intelligence unit absorbed into the Central Intelligence Agency in 1947;
  3. Paul and Violet Orr--their mutual friends who were considered to be prominent members of the Communist Party.
You may recall that Talbot's 1936 wedding announcement stated he, too, had taught in American schools in "the Orient, in China and Japan." We know about his short visit to Japan in 1924 before graduation. Yet we have found nothing to confirm independently any travel in China. Talbot Bielefeldt would have met his wife, Eugenie Pfeil while the former Stanford students were all in New York City. She was at Barnard, located next to Columbia (in the Morningside Heights neighborhood) at the same time the Californians were all there. Is it possible those missing years in the early 1930's he too was abroad? Had he possibly met Elizabeth Bentley while she was a graduate student at Columbia, living also in Morningside Heights?

The archives of the California Historical Society relates:
As a Communist Party activist, Violet Orr filled many positions in Northern and Southern California: as an organizational secretary in Oakland in the early 1930s; a candidate for the California State Assembly from Richmond (1934); a laundry worker and labor organizer in San Francisco (1935-1937); and an advertising and circulation manager of the People's World in San Francisco and Los Angeles (1937-1946). Throughout this period, she played an energetic role in California's radical print culture, not only as a manager of the People's World, but also as a founder of the San Francisco laundry workers' newspaper, the Shake Out; a contributor to the Western Worker; and a leafleteer among Richmond refinery workers. During the 1934 General Strike, the Orrs' Point Richmond home was ransacked by vigilantes. After World War II, Violet and Paul Orr worked as school teachers in Oregon, returning to California in 1951 after losing several jobs in the early years of the post-war Red Scare. They continued to feel the strain of rising anti-communist anxiety in Pasadena, where Paul was fired from his job at the California Institute of Technology for refusing to disavow his Communist Party membership. In Pasadena, Violet was active in the Methodist Church and in various peace movements. She and Paul co-authored a utopian novel, 1993, the World of Tomorrow, which was published by Pacific Progress Publishers in 1968.
At the time the People's World was launched, Time Magazine reported (1/17/1938, Vol. 31 Issue 3, p34):
Last week Harrison George, who spent 1918-23 in Leavenworth Prison for too violent pacifism, launched the San Francisco daily People's World on $33.000 raised by California Communists. After Chicago's Midwest Daily Record gets under way February 12, People's World will be the western link in a cross-country chain of Communist papers anchored to New York's Daily Worker. Almost bare of advertising, the first week's issues of People's World gave 20,000 readers a generous three cents' worth of bellicose headlines about "SHIPOWNERS PLOT LOCKOUT" and "Portrait of a Fink." Two of its six pages were crammed with fighting Left editorials. Said one: "If you want a reason for a new daily newspaper, all you have to do is to look at the ones you have. . . . The economic royalists have your daily information sewed up."

The following excerpt appeared science fiction writers' catalog after publication of the Orrs' 
1968 book.
The Orrs wrote and self-published this book, whose complete title was 1993: the world of tomorrow; timely look into the future. Printed in Altadena, Ca. in 1968--thirteen years after Paul Orr was called before the House Un-American Activities Committee and refused to answer any questions, it reflects how the Orrs saw what America would be like in thirty years.

Paul Orr takes the Fifth.
After refusing to testify in HUAC hearings in 1955, Paul Orr was fired from the job he held as supervisor in charge of the biology department stock room at Cal Tech. Violet was also  fired from her teaching job in McMinnville, Ore., in the early 1950s. Directories show that Paul and Violet continued to live in the Pasadena area, where he worked as a salesman for J.R. Watkins natural household products. Quite a step down, or up, depending on one's angle of perspective.

Why did he refuse to talk? Was he trying to protect the Hydes and Bielefeldt? Or, had the Orrs been working undercover for the Herbert Hoover administration against the Communist Party during and after their two-year sojourn to Soviet Russia in the late 1920's? Did they take oaths of secrecy that forbade them from talking about what they did? Were they still in touch with the Hydes and with Talbot and his wife up to and including the year 1955?

Research by A.J. Weberman 

Other researchers have written about the Hyde family connections to intelligence, but none of them have yet discovered the full story. For example, A.J. Weberman wrote:
The father of Ruth Paine, William Hyde, had contact with the CIA and the CIA's Office of Security had traces on him: "Files of the Office of Security reflect that Ruth Paine is the daughter of William Avery Hyde, OS C-157,435, (deleted)." William Avery Hyde [CIA SSD-157,435] was an anti-Communist who supported Socialist Party candidate Norman Thomas. Norman Thomas received millions of dollars in CIA subsidies because of his anti-Communist views.

William Avery Hyde related:
"Our introduction [to the Communists] came at the 1929 annual meeting of the Eastern Cooperative League. There were a number of Communist delegates to the convention. When they found out they did not have enough votes to control the meeting, they set out to obstruct it, and succeeding in preventing it from doing any business worth mentioning. Mother and I entered the meeting knowing very little about Communists, and left as their enemies, which we have been ever since 1948. From 1930 to 1942 I worked for, and with, various New York metropolitan area consumer cooperatives. They were subject to attempts at communist infiltration almost continuously. Both Mrs. Hyde and I took our part in trying to block this. From 1939 to 1941 I was the District Sales Manager of Greater New York for the Farm Bureau Insurance Companies of Ohio (now Nationwide). No one could get an agent's contract from the companies in my district except through me. 
Apparently the Comrades were anxious to infiltrate the outfit because a continuous stream applied for contracts. The fact that we had no specifically Communist type trouble from any agent I appointed leads me to think that my screening was successful. In our first few years in Columbus we met a few people we suspected of Communist leanings, but we have not been aware of such since the end to the Wallace campaign." [QJ: No footnote for source of this quote!]
 … The Security File of William Hyde contains a copy of a 1956 FBI investigative report (Security of Government Employees) on Sylvia Ludlow Hyde aka Mrs. John Hoke who is the sister of Ruth Paine….

From FBI McAvoy Report on Sylvia Hyde Hoke
According to Herbert Philbrick, the mother of Ruth Hyde Paine, a Unitarian Minister, Mrs. Carol E. Hyde, was a radical: "Ruth Paine's mother, Mrs. Carol E. Hyde, was active in the Woman's International League for Peace and Freedom, one of the very first fronts I came to know through the Cambridge Youth Council." (If this was correct, why did the CIA consider her husband for employment)? The FBI stated that Carol E. Hyde was insane, and had been institutionalized for mental illness. J. Lee Rankin of the Warren Commission was informed that these reports were Secret. The FBI also discovered that Carol E. Hyde had allegedly admitted to neighbors that she was a communist….
The sister of Ruth Paine, Sylvia Ludlow Hyde Hoke (born October 2, 1929), worked at the Labor Department from 1949 to 1953. She started working at the CIA in 1954. Her cover was Personnel Research Technician, Placement and Employee Relations Division, Director of Civilian Personnel, Headquarters, Department of the Air Force, Washington, D.C. Marina Oswald told this researcher in 1994: "Ruth Paine never mentioned her sister was in the CIA." The Sylvia Hyde Security File 348 201 was held by the Office of Security, Security Analysis Group. On June 15, 1955, this CIA Official Routing Slip from Bruce Solie was sent to (Deleted) whose initials were "wmw"- "Remarks: Please have file set up on Sylvia Hyde Hoke nee Hyde MS 8201."
 … On March 21, 1956, the Department of the Air Force issued Sylvia Hoke a Final Secret Clearance which remained in effect until May 31, 1957, six months after the investigation by OSI, at which time Sylvia Hyde resigned her cover employment with the U.S. Air Force to accompany her husband overseas to Germany. As of 1965 the above clearance was still in effect. Sylvia Hyde Hoke was granted a Top Secret Clearance from the Agency for International Development on April 17, 1956. On September 20, 1956, and on September 21, 1956, the CIA noted that Sylvia Hyde Hoke's name appeared in FBI Reports about her father, William A. Hyde….

"Hoke's mother-in-law is Helen Hoke Watts, who is a partner in a New York publishing firm with Dorothy Wilson, aka Dorothy Wilson Seligson, aka Mrs. Lou Seligson, who has been identified as a member of the Communist Party. Wilson is known to have been in contact with Isadore Gibby Needleman concerning financial payments received by her from Bernard Geis (1962 to 1963)." Gibby Needleman was an attorney who represented the Amtorg Trading Corporation, the registered Russian Trade Agency in the United States….

Ruth Paine's brother-in-law, John Lindsey Hoke, (born June 26, 1925, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania), worked for the American Automobile Association from 1951 to 1957. He accepted an appointment with the International Cooperation Administration (the predecessor of the Agency for International Development) on February 4, 1956, as a "audio visual consultant (regional) to be assigned to the U.S. Operations Mission (USOM), Panama City, Panama." John Lindsey Hoke told the Deputy Director of Communications of the International Cooperation Administration, Gale Griswold, that, "while assigned in Latin America he had been requested, and did, intelligence type work for the American Embassy." Gale Griswold did not know for whom John Lindsey Hoke worked, or what his job was. On June 24, 1957, John Lindsey Hoke was transferred to Paremaribo, Surinam, where he worked with the International Cooperation Administration's Office of Program Support, Communications Research Division. One of his family members could not adapt to the field and Hoke returned to Washington, D.C. where he worked with the Agency for International Development in the Office of Program Support, Communications Research Division. Ruth Paine stated, "You want to know why he left - his wife couldn't stand Surinam." A notation in Hoke's Naval Intelligence File was "Mrs. Van Sast, CIA, on September 25, 1962, called and wanted to know Hoke's TS clearance and basis." On June 30, 1963, Hoke terminated his employment with AID, no reason given….

Agency For International Development personnel and security records reflected that Congressman Porter Hardy, Chairman, Subcommittee on Government Operations, held hearings on John Lindsey Hoke on August 13, 1962, that produced evidence that Hoke seemed to be serving two masters, in connection with a solar-powered boat project between AID and Hoffman Electronics Corporation of California under circumstances which Congressman Hardy described as "collusion." Hoffman's president denied company profit on the contract. Hoffman "denied banality and explained false limousine fares covered purchases." A newspaper clipping, undated, Washington Daily News, stamped September 25, 1962, reflects results of a committee hearing, that caption read "Aid Official Has Wings Clipped." This article charged that Hoke was the promoter of a project to finance a solar powered boat for use in Surinam while at the same time he was planning to "make personal profit from the venture." On November 9, 1962, Assistant United States Attorney, Fredrick G. Smith declined prosecution in the case on the grounds that violation of Federal laws by Hoke were merely a technical nature. Hoke was embittered over the way this Congressional investigation was handled….
Ruth Paine visited the Hokes in August 1963. In August 1963 Ruth Paine was in Washington D.C. to attend a mass civil rights march. [WCE 1983 page 7] Ruth Paine described her trip in a letter to Marina: "Tomorrow we and the children will go to Baltimore, Maryland, where Michael's brother and wife live. We will spend one day there and then we will go back further to Washington, where we will stay with sister until Thursday. Then back to Paoli again, where we will wait for my father. He will be here with us for two days. I expect to be in Paoli until September 10, 1963, and then to go to Ohio and Indiana, where our relatives and friends live, and to arrive in New Orleans on the 20th..." [WCE 78 p253] When Hoke's Request for Liaison Approval was renewed on August 13, 1964, it was identical to the others except for a block stamp that read "On August 20, 1964, Subject's Security Officer advised that Subject was cleared for access to classified information up to and including Top Secret TERMINATED June 30, 1963. Return, no action."

… Ruth Paine claimed her first meeting with OSWALD happened purely by chance. Michael Paine said he met Everette Glover at the Unitarian Church. Everette Glover asked him if I wanted to meet a Marine who had defected, then redefected, from the Soviet Union. Michael Paine: "I thought, 'Oh boy, that sounds interesting.' It never struck me too odd that he should be allowed to come home. To be allowed back would be a feather in the cap of the United States. So I didn't have trouble. Without asking him, I assumed that was why he was so readily allowed back. I expected to find him politically interesting. And I didn't find him that way. He was very different from the kinds of people who had come to talk to my father. He didn't like complexities."

Michael Paine did not attend Everette Glover's party, but Ruth Paine did. In July 1993 Ruth Paine stated: "This whole thing is still very painful. Kennedy was the first President I ever voted for who won. I had no association with the Dallas White Russian community. I did not know DeMohrenschildt. The party was put on by Everette Glover. I sang English Madrigals with Everette. That was the only time I met DeMohrenschildt. A colorful fellow, though."

It was pointed out to Ruth Paine that the HSCA linked her father to George DeMohrenschildt. Ruth Paine: "Well it might be, you know, things happen."

Barbara LaMonica, Steve Jones and Carol Hewett

Article "The Paines," in the Fourth Decade, May 1996.


Violet's name was listed as a teacher in the San Francisco Workers' School, according to HUAC hearings in 1954. In testimony, one witness said she was a Communist.

Miscellaneous Notes

Below are a few tidbits of information which do not fit into the above narrative. They are included here only as unrelated footnotes which may be found of interest to some readers.

1. Only two weeks after the Kennedy assassination, December 5, 1963, Bruce Solie (of the Security Analysis Group, SAG) felt it necessary to inform the Chief in the Office of Security, Security Research Staff (OS/SRS) of Ruth Hyde Paine's travel during the preceding summer:



What was the "Bielefeldt case" investigated by CIA?

2. When I searched the term "Chief, Security Research Staff" in the Mary Ferrell database, it returned an interesting file from the same era in which the Orrs were traveling in the Soviet Union, one pertaining to an Austrian actress named Hedwig "Hede" Manning, the wife of Rutgers professor, Dr. Paul Wilhelm Massing, which was flagged with a cautionary note dated 12 February 1965, apparently by Morse Allen. Ms. Manning defected from the Soviet underground in East Germany to testify on behalf of the FBI in the Alger Hiss trial in 1949. She first came to the United States in 1926, but acted as a Soviet spy while here from 1929-1938, when she defected. She wrote a book published in 1951 entitled This Deception.

During the years Hede Manning was under surveillance, prior to creation of the CIA, reports were signed by Special Agent C. Donald Dudley of the FBI, who by 1960 was officially working for the CIA and living in Silver Spring, MD.




3.  In 1959, according to John Newman, Oswald and the CIA: The Documented Truth About the Unknown Relationship Between the U.S. Government and the Alleged Killer of JFK, Robert L. Bannerman was Deputy Director of Security, and Bruce Solie and Paul Gaynor worked on his staff (p. 57).

4.  The university’s first president, David Starr Jordan, a graduate of Cornell, had been recruited from Indiana University. He was a member of the American Peace Society and a supporter of the League of Nations, and he spoke often at Stanford’s Cosmopolitan Club. This organization first began in 1903 and spread to other campuses to bring together “in one brotherhood men from different countries, to learn the customs, viewpoints, and characteristics of other nationalities, to remove racial prejudices, and to establish international friendships.” It was akin to Andrew Carnegie’s endowment for international peace movement.

5.  Silvermaster was living in Oakland at the time of the 1930 census, giving his occupation as professor at a private school, after having taking his oath of citizenship in San Francisco in 1927. In 1946 "Dr. N. Gregory Silvermaster" was shown as an employee of the War Assets Administration (statistics and progress reports division) in Washington, D.C., whose head was Quartermaster General Edmund B. Gregory. The War Assets Administration itself fell under the umbrella in 1946 of the Office of  War Mobilization and Reconstruction, whose director of Contract Settlement was H. Chapman Rose. By 1962, Rose was Richard Nixon's tax attorney.
~~~~~~~~~~~~
Several years ago while working on a totally separate project, I came across the War Assets Administration and wrote the following:
Bob Prescott of Flying Tigers
In November, 1944 Robert Prescott had met with a group of Los Angeles businessmen in Acapulco, Mexico, including one of Edwin Pauley's fellow UC Berkeley regents, Samuel B. Mosher, who wanted to establish an air freight line along the U.S. and Mexican west coast, to be called Aero-Azteca. The investors included Signal Oil Company. They agreed to form a syndicate, with Mosher's group matching whatever Prescott could raise. Prescott found 14 Navy surplus cargo aircraft from the War Assets Administration and collected cash from friends from the American Volunteer Pilots unit (AVP, popularly known as the "Flying Tigers") who had flown with him in China. This group of American civilians who fought with Chiang Kai-Shek in China before the U.S. entered the war... had an important role in the setting up what William Casey would later call an "off-the-shelf" method of financing covert operations for the CIA and other black operations not disclosed to Congress.
What is not mentioned at the Flying Tiger history website linked above is that pilots were known to fly opium for the Kuomintang to put money in the coffers of the Nationalist Chinese Army. Documentation for this fact was given in my 2002 essay at footnote 11.