Friday, 27 December 2013

Maurice Bishop who was he? JFK Assassination

The following is from Volume 10 of the HOUSE SELECT COMMITTEE ON 
ASSASSINATION:

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THE SEARCH FOR BISHOP

(168) One of the factors utilized in the committee's efforts to locate
Maurice Bishop was the description of him provided by Veciana.  When he
first met him in 1960, Veciana said, Bishop was about 45 years old, about
6 feet, 2 inches tall, weighed over 200 pounds, and was athletically
built. He had gray-blue eyes, light brown hair, and a light
complexion.(151) Veciana said, however, that Bishop appeared to spend much
time outdoors or in sunny climate because he was usually well tanned and
there was some skin discoloration, like sun spots, under his eyes.(152) He
appeared to be meticulous about his dress and usually concerned about his
weight and diet.(153) In the latter years that Veciana knew him, Bishop
began using glasses for reading.(154)

(169) Shortly after he revealed his Bishop relationship to Senator
Schweiker's investigator, Veciana aided a professional artist in
developing a composite sketch of Bishop. Schweiker's office provided the
committee with a copy of the sketch. Veciana told the committee that he
considered the artist's composite sketch of Bishop a "pretty good"
resemblance.(155)

(170) Prior to the committee's efforts, Senator Schweiker's office, as
well as the Senate subcommittee he headed, looked into certain aspects of
Veciana's allegations. Schweiker, for instance, requested the Belgian
Embassy to conduct a record check for information about a passport issued
under the name of "Frigault." The Belgian Embassy said that, without
additional identifying information, it could not help.(156) In addition,
Schweiker's investigator showed Veciana numerous photographs of
individuals who may have used the name of Bishop, among them Oswald's
friend, George de Mohrenschildt, who was then a teacher at Bishop College
in Dallas. The results were negative.(157)

(171) It was Senator Schweiker who focused the committee's attention to
David Atlee Phillips, former chief of the Western Hemisphere Division of
the CIA Deputy Directorate of Operations, as perhaps having knowledge of
Maurice Bishop. Immediately after receiving the Bishop sketch, Schweiker
concluded that Phillips, who had earlier testified before the Senate
Select Committee on Intelligence Activities, bore a strong resemblance to
the sketch. 

(172) When Veciana was shown a photograph of David Phillips by Schweiker's
investigator, he did not provide an absolutely conclusive response.(158)
For that reason, it was decided that Veciana be given the opportunity to
observe Phillips in person.(159) Schweiker arranged for Veciana to be
present at a luncheon meeting of the Association of Retired Intelligence
Officers in Reston, Va., on September 17, 1976.(160) Phillips was one of
the founders of the association. Veciana was introduced to Phillips prior 
to the luncheon.(161) He was introduced by name but not by affiliation 
with Alpha 66 or involvement with anti-Castro activity.(162) According to
Schweiker's investigator, there was no indication of recognition on
Phillips' part.(163) Following the luncheon, Veciana had the opportunity
to speak with Phillips in Spanish. (164) Veciana asked Phillips if he was
in Havana in 1960 and if he knew Julio Lobo.(165) Phillips answered both
questions affirmatively and then asked Veciana to repeat his name.(166)
Veciana did and then asked, "Do you know my name?" Phillips said he did
not.(167) Phillips was asked if Veciana was on Schweiker's staff.(168) He
was told that he was not, but that Veciana was helping Schweiker in his
investigation of the Kennedy assassination.(169) Phillips declined to be
interviewed by Senator Schweiker's investigator, but said he would be
happy to speak with any Congressman or congressional representative "in
Congress."(170) Following the encounter of Veciana and Phillips,
Schweiker's investigator asked Veciana if David Phillips was Maurice
Bishop.(171) Veciana said he was not.(172)

(173) Schweiker's investigator expressed some doubt about Veciana's
credibility on the point, however, because of Veciana's renewed interest
in continuing his anti-Castro operations and his expressed desire to
recontact Bishop to help him.(173) In addition, Schweiker's investigator
expressed doubt that David Phillips, who was once in charge of Cuban
operations for the CIA and whose career was deeply entwined in anti-Castro
operations, could not recognize the name of Veciana as being the founder
and vociferous public spokesman for one of the largest and most active
anti-Castro Cuban groups, Alpha 66.(174)

(174) The committee considered other factors in examining Phillips,
including his principal area of expertise and operations until 1963. (175)
In 1960, when Veciana said he first met Bishop in Havana, Phillips was
serving as a covert operative in Havana.(176) From 1961 to 1963, Phillips
was Chief of Covert Action in another relevant country.  When Oswald
visited the Cuban Consulate in Mexico City in 1963, Phillips was also in
charge of Cuban operations for the CIA in same country. Phillips had
earlier lived in and had numerous associations in another relevant
country.(177) He had also served as chief of station in several other
places of general relevance.(178)

(175) The committee developed other information that further gave support
to an interest in Phillips in relation to Bishop. In Miami, its
investigators interviewed a former career agent for the CIA, who for
present purposes will be called Ron Cross. From September 1960 until
November 1962, Cross was a case officer at the CIA's JM/WAVE station, the
operational base which coordinated the Agency's activities with the
anti-Castro exiles.(179) He handled one of the largest and most active
anti-Castro groups.(180) At the time that Cross was at the Miami JM/WAVE
station, David Phillips was responsible for certain aspects of the CIA's
anti-Castro operations. Cross coordinated these operations with Phillips,
who would occasionally visit the JM/WAVE station from Washington.(181)
Generally, however, Cross worked with Phillips' direct assistant at the
station, who used the cover name of Doug Gupton. 

(176) In his book about his role in the Bay of Pigs operation, former CIA
officer E. Howard Hunt used a pseudonym when referring to the chief of the
operation.(182) The chief of propaganda was David Phillips Hunt called
him "Knight."(183)

(177) When asked by the committee if he was familiar with anyone using the
cover name of Bishop at the JM/WAVE station, Cross said he was "almost
positive" that David Phillips had used the cover name of Maurice
Bishop.(184) He said he was "fairly sure" that Hunt himself had used the
cover name of Knight.(185) Cross said, however, that the reason he was
certain that Phillips used the name of Bishop was because he recalled
sometimes discussing field and agent problems with Phillips' assistant,
Doug Gupton, and Gupton often saying, "Well, I guess Mr. Bishop will have
to talk with him." Cross said: "And, of course, I knew he was referring to
his boss, David Phillips." (186)

(178) The committee ascertained that the cover name of Doug Gupton was
used at the JM/WAVE station by a former CIA employee. 

(179) The committee staff interviewed Doug Gupton on August 22, 1978, at
CIA headquarters.(187) Gupton said he worked for the CIA from December
1951 until his retirement.(188) Gupton confirmed that he was in charge of
a special operations staff at the Miami JM/WAVE station and that his
immediate superior was David Phillips. (189) Gupton acknowledged that Ron
Cross (cover name) was a case officer who worked for him and that he saw
Cross on a daily basis.(190) Gupton said he did not recall whether E.
Howard Hunt or David Phillips ever used the name of "Knight." (191) He
said he does not recall Phillips ever using the name of Maurice
Bishop.(192) When told about Cross' recollection of him referring to
Phillips as "Mr. Bishop," Gupton said: "Well, maybe I did. I don't
remember."(193) He also said, however, that he never heard the name of
Bishop while he was stationed in Miami.(194) When shown the sketch of
Bishop, he said it did not look like anyone he knew.(195)

(180) Explaining his working relationship with David Phillips, Gupton said
he was in contact with him regularly in Washington by telephone and cable,
and that Phillips visited Miami "quite often." (196) Gupton said, however,
that there were two sets of operations.  His set of operations was run out
of Miami and he kept Phillips informed of them. Phillips ran another set
of operations personally out of Washington and, Gupton said, Phillips did
not keep him briefed about them.(197) Gupton also said he knew that
Phillips used many of his old contacts from Havana in his personal
operations.(198)


(181) David Atlee Phillips testified before the committee in executive
session on April 25, 1978. He said he never used the name Maurice
Bishop.(199) He said he did not know of anyone in the CIA who used the
name Maurice Bishop.(200) He said he had seen Antonio Veciana only twice
in his life, the second time the morning of his hearing before the
committee when Veciana, who had testified earlier, emerged from the
hearing room while he, Phillips, was in the hallway.(201) Phillips said
the first time he met Veciana was at a meeting of the Association of 
Former Intelligence Officers in Reston.(202) He said that Veciana was 
brought to that meeting by an investigator from Senator Schweiker's 
office but, said Phillips, Veciana was not introduced to him by name 
but only as "the driver."(203) He said Veciana asked him some questions 
in Spanish, but at the time he did not know who Veciana was or why 
Senator Schweiker's office had sent him to the meeting.(204)

(182) Phillips also testified that he had never used the name Frigault and
had never used a Belgian passport.(205)

(183) Phillips was shown the sketch of Maurice Bishop but could not
identify it as anyone he knew. He said, however, "It looks like me." (206)

(184) In sworn testimony before the committee in executive session on
April 26, 1978, Antonio Veciana said that David Atlee Phillips is not the
person he knew as Maurice Bishop.(207) He said, however, that there was a
"physical similarity."(208)

(185) On March 2, 1978, the committee requested the CIA to check all its
files and index references pertaining to Maurice Bishop.(209) On March 31,
1978, the CIA informed the committee that its Office of the Inspector
General, its Office of the General Counsel, its Office of Personnel, and
the Deputy Directorate of Operations had no record of a Maurice
Bishop.(210)

(186) On August 10, 1978, B. H., a former covert operative of the CIA, was
interviewed by the committee in a special closed session. (211) B. H. was
a CIA agent from 1952 to 1970.(212) Between 1960 and 1964 he was assigned
to Cuban operations.(213) As such, he testified, he was involved in
"day-to-day" operations with David Atlee Phillips. He characterized
Phillips as "an excellent intelligence officer" and "a personal
friend."(214)

(187) When asked if he knew an individual named Maurice Bishop, B. H.
said: 

      "Again, Mr. Bishop was in the organization but I had 
   no personal day-to-day open relationship with him. Phillips, 
   yes; Bishop, no. I knew them both."(215)

(188) Although he couldn't describe Bishop's physical characteristics, B.
H. said he had seen him "two or three times"(216) in the "hallways or
cafeteria"(217), at CIA headquarters in Langley. B. H. said he thought
Bishop worked in the Western Hemisphere Division(218) and that he had a
position "higher than me."(219) He could not be more specific. The two or
three times he saw Bishop, he said, was between 1960 and 1964 when he
himself was in Cuban operations, although, he said, he did not know if
Bishop worked in that area also.(220)

(189) Asked how, if he did not personally know Bishop, he knew the person
he saw at CIA headquarters was Maurice Bishop, B. H. said: "Someone might
have said, 'That is Maurice Bishop,' and it was different from Dave
Phillips or Joseph Langosch guys that I know."(221)

(190) When shown the sketch of Maurice Bishop, however, B. H. could not
identify it as anyone he recognized. 

(191) On August 17, 1978, the committee deposed John A. McCone, the
Director of the Central Intelligence Agency from October 1961 until April
30, 1965.(222)

(192)  During the course of the deposition, the following questions
and answers were recorded:

    Q. Do you know or did you know Maurice Bishop?
    A. Yes.
    Q. Was he an agency employee?
    A. I believe so.
    Q. Do you know what his duties were in 1963?
    A. No.
    Q. For instance, do you know whether Maurice Bishop
     worked in the Western Hemisphere Division or whether he
     worked in some other division of the CIA?
    A. I do not know. I do not recall. I knew at that time but I
        do not recall.
    Q. Do you know whether Maurice Bishop used any pseudonyms?
    A. No; I do not know that.(223)

(193) In view of the information developed in the interviews with B. H.
and former Director McCone, the committee asked the CIA to renew its file
search for any files or index references pertaining to Bishop.(224). It
also asked for a written statement from the CIA indicating whether an
individual using either the true name or pseudonym of Maurice Bishop has
ever been associated in any capacity with the CIA.(225)

(194) A reply was received on September 8, 1978, from the CIA's Office of
Legislative Counsel indicating that all true name files, alias files and
pseudonym files were again checked and, again, proved negative. "No person
with such a name has a connection with CIA," said the reply.(226) Added
the Agency: "Quite frankly, it is our belief from our earlier check,
reinforced by this one-that such a man did not exist, so far as CIA
connections are concerned."*(227)

(195) Additional efforts of locate Maurice Bishop were made by the
committee in file requests to the Federal Bureau of Investigation. (228)
and to the Department of Defense. (229) Both proved negative. (230)

(196)  Although file reviews of Maurice Bishop proved negative, the


<FOOTNOTE>----------------------------         

   *On October 19, 1978, the committee's chief counsel received a letter
from the principal coordinator in the CIA's Office of Legislative Counsel.
The letter said, in part: "This is to advise you that I have interviewed
Mr. McCone and a retired employee concerning their recollections about an
alleged CIA employee reportedly using the name of Maurice Bishop. * * *

   "We assembled photographs of the persons with the surname of Bishop who
had employment relationships of some type with CIA during the 1960's, to
see if either Mr. McCone or the employee would recognize one of them. 

   "Mr. McCone did not feel it necessary to review those photographs,
stating that I should inform you that he had been in error. * * *

   "The employee continues to recall a person of whom he knew who was
known as Maurice Bishop. He cannot state the organizational connection or
responsibilities of the individual, not knowing him personally, and feels
that the person in question was point ed out to him by someone, perhaps a
secretary. He is unable, however, to recognize any of the photographs
mentioned above. * * *

 "In summary, Mr. McCone withdraws his statements on this point. The
employee continues to recall such a name, but the nature of his
recollection is not very clear of precise. We still believe that there is
no evidence of the existence of such a person so far as there being a CIA
connection. * * *" (J.F.K. Document No. 012722.)

<END FOOTNOTE>--------------------------------------

the committee learned that Army intelligence had an operational interest
in Antonio Veciana during one period.(197) Veciana was registered in the
Army Information Source Registry from November 1962 until July 1966.(231)

(198) The nature of the Army's contact with Veciana appeared to be limited
to attempting to use him as a source of intelligence information about
Alpha 66 activities, with Veciana, in turn, seeking to obtain weapons and
funds.(232) Veciana acknowledged a nd detailed to the committee these
contacts with Army intelligence and said that, aside from keeping Bishop
informed of them, they had no relationship with his activities with
Bishop.(233)

(199) Given the Army's acknowledgement of an interest in Veciana and Alpha
66, the committee made the assumption that the CIA may also have had an
interest in Veciana and his Alpha 66 activities as part of its pervasive
role in anti-Castro operations during the 1960's. 

(200) In a review of its own files on March 15, 1978, the CIA noted that
Veciana had contacted the Agency three times -- in December 1960; July 1962;
and April 1966 -- for assistance in plots against Castro.(234) According to
the CIA: "Officers listened to Veciana, expressed no interest, offered no
encouragement and never recontacted him on this matter. There has been no
Agency relationship with Veciana."(235)

(201) The committee's own review of the Agency's files basically confirmed
the stated conclusions about the meetings with Veciana in 1960 and 1966. A
review of the files pertaining to 1962, however, revealed that on July 7,
1962, Veciana received $500 from om a wealthy Puerto Rican financier and
industrialist with whom the CIA had a longstanding operational
relationship.(236) Although the files do not explicitly state whether the
money originated with the CIA or the industrialist, and even though during
this s same period the Agency was using the Puerto Rican, it appears that
in Veciana's case the money was provided by the industrialist, and not by
the Agency. 

(202) Finally, to locate or identify Maurice Bishop, the committee issued
a press release on July 30, 1978 and made available to the media the
composite sketch of Bishop. The sketch was part of a release of several
other items, including two sketches and three photographs.  The committee
warned that it should not be assumed that the release indicated the
committee believes the person in the sketch was involved in the Kennedy
assassination, only that information resulting from possible citizen
recognition of the sketch might "shed additional light on the
assassination." The committee asked that anyone who had information
contact the committee by mail, not by telephone.(237)

(203) By November 1, 1978, the committee received from the general public
a total of four written responses relating to the Bishop sketch. The three
photographs were identified, the two sketches were not.(238)

(204) No definitive conclusion could be reached about the credibility of
Antonio Veciana's allegations regarding his relationship with a Maurice
Bishop.  Additionally, no definitive conclusions could be drawn as to the
identity or affiliations of Bishop, if such an individual existed. While
no evidence was found to discredit Veciana's testimony, there was some
evidence to support it, although none of it was conclusive. The
available documentary record was sufficient to indicate that the U.S.
Government's intelligence community had a keen interest in Antonio Veciana
during the early 1960's and that he was willing to receive the financial
support he needed for the military operations of his anti-Castro groups
from those sources. From the files of these agencies, it thus appears
reasonable that an association similar to the alleged Maurice Bishop story
actually existed. But whether Veciana's contact was really named Maurice
Bishop, or if he was, whether he did all of the things Veciana claims, and
if so, with which U.S. intelligence agency he was associated, could not be
determined. No corroboration was found for Veciana's alleged meeting with
Lee Harvey Oswald. 

   Submitted by:
      GAETON J. FONZI,
       Investigator,

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