Sunday, July 9, 2017

Maurice Bishop and David Atlee Phillips

Maurice Bishop and David Atlee Phillips

Maurice Bishop

When Veciana met him in 1960 Bishop was about 45 years old, about six feet, two inches tall, weighed over 200 pounds, and was athletically built. He had grey-blue eyes, light brown hair and light complexion. To Veciana, Bishop appeared to spend much time outdoors or in sunny climate because he was usually well tanned and there was some skin discoloration, especially under the eyes, where there was a blochiness, a spotty darkness, as if from being in the sun too  long. A good looking man, Bishop was meticulous He his dress and was usually concerned about his weight and diet. In the later years that Veciana knew his Bishop began using glasses for reading, but took them off to ruminate, putting the stem to his lips.

Bishop was in Havana in the summer of 1960 when he recruited Veciana, "working undercover, possibly using some busines association as a front. He was familiar with the personel at the American Embassy. He appeared to be a specialist in propaganda, psychological warfare and counter-intelligence."

Over the years his influence increased, as if he was rising up the agency ladder.

"Considering the character of his Spanish, he probably had been formally schooled in the language and even before arriving in Havana he probably had sspent time in a Spanish-speaking country. He was very intelligent, very literate, very articulate. He was, as Veciana put it, a gentleman, perhaps from the South, more likely from Texas."

Besides the striking physical  resemballance, the career of David Atlee Phillips corresponds in almost every respect with the facts known about Maurice Bishop.

David Atlee Phillips

Born on Halloween - October 31, 1922, in Fort Worth, Texas, David Atlee Phillips is the ultimate spook. He attended William and Mary and Texas Christian University before he began working for a professional acting company out of New York City.

Drafted into the service during Wold War II, Phillips flew on even bombing missions over Europe before being shot down and taken prisoner. After spending a year in prison as the camp's escape committee director, his first experience in intelligence, Phillips escaped and made his way back to allied lines, reporting directly to General Omar Bradley.

Writing a play about life as a prisoner, he said it was similar to the movies "The Great Escape" and "Stalag 17," the latter starring actor William Holden, who bore a similar striking resemblance to Phillips himself.

Relocating to Santiago, Chile after the war, Phillips purchased the South Pacific Mail newspaper and became its publisher when he was recruited as a CIA contract agent. While the person who recruited him has never been identified, Phillips later intimidated that it was a women, and that women play an unknown but significant role in affairs.

Phillips served as a deep cover operative for the CIA and was specially trained in propaganda while publishing the Mail, Latin America's oldest English language newspaper.

When Phillips himself began to recruit agents, he said that he once targeted a subject, learned that he was very supersticious and read his horoscope daily, so Phillips, as publisher, worded the subject's horoscope to encourage accepting an offer that would be made, and it worked.

Moving on to become a full fledged CIA officer, Phillips served as the propaganda chief for the 1954 Operation Success, a coup detat in Guatemalla, in which Phillips' radio promoted the advance of a non-existenct Army on the capitol, which led the president to flee.

Obtaining the rank of GS-14, a mid-level full time intelligence officer with a desk at CIA HQ in Washington,  until 1955 when Phillips went "under deep cover" in Cuba for the chief of the CIA Western Hemisphere Division Colonel J. C. King.

In 1957 Phillips was transferred to Beirut, Lebanon, his only posting outside of the Western Hemisphere, and while there met British-Soviet double-agent Kim Philby at the bar of the St. George Hotel. Phillips caught the last plane out of Beirut on July 15, 1958, shortly before the arrival of the U.S. Marines.

In 1959 Phillips resigned his full time status and reverted back to contract employee status while operating a public relations firm in Havana, Cuba. At 4 a.m. on January 1, 1959 Phillips claimed to be the first American agent to report the departure of Batista, when he heard his plane take off.

With Castro in power Phillips resumed his full time CIA status and used his Havana business as a cover for his anti-Castro activities at the time "Maurice Bishop" recruited Antonio Veciana, making his pitch over daiquiris at the El Floridita restaurant made famous by Hemingway.

[ Restaurante Floridita, Havana - Restaurant Reviews, Phone Number & Photos - TripAdvisor    ]
Hemingway at La Floridita Image result for daiquiri hemingway

Veciana said that Bishop was familiar with the staff at the US Embassy in Havana, and Bishop told him to contact Sam Kail - the US Army liaison. David Morales is also on the list of US officials stationed there, while Phillips enjoyed acting in an amateur theater group composed of embassy employees, including Wayne Smith.

After attending a meeting of anti-Castro dissidents, many of whom were subsequently arrested, Phillips fled Cuba to the United States. In Washington, Phillips helped set up the Cuban Task Force at "Quarters Eye" - the CIA HQ, and developed the propaganda campaign for the "Guatemalan scenario" in Cuba that would become the Bay of Pigs.

In his autobiography Nightwatch - 25 Years of Peculiar Service - Phillips recalls how he set up Radio Swan on a guano island off Cuba to broadcast propaganda to the Cubans, but at some point some Cuban students took over the island. Instead of sending in the Marines, Phillips himself went to Swan and over a case of beer, persuaded the students to leave. But the "Guatemalan scenario" that worked in 1954 didn't work in Cuba.

From 1961 to 1963 Phillips was chief of Covert Operations in Mexico. When Oswald visited the Cuban consulate in Mexico City in 1963, Phillips was in charge of Cuban operations in Mexico.

By comparing excerpts of the HSCA report on Maurice Bishop with an outline of Phillips' career from his autobiography "Nightwatch - 25 Years of Peculiar Service" (Atheneum Press, NY, 1977), there are ten relevant incidents known about Maurice Bishop that correspond with significant events in the life of David Phillips.

When E. Howard Hunt returned from Cuba he recommended that Castro be assassinated, and in his book refers to David Phillips as "Knight."

Phillips was responsible for monitoring the Cuban Embassy in Mexico City when Oswald visited there, as well as "any nexus it might have with pro-Castro organizations in the hemisphere," while Oswald set up his Fair Play for Cuba Committee (FPCC) in New Orleans.

Bishop and Veciana initiated the aborted bazooka attack on Castro that resulted in the arrest of the parents of Sylvia Odio - who were members of JURE, and related to the incident in September of 1963 in which Oswald and two Cubans visited Odio in Dallas, while Oswald was enroute from Mexico City.

In the immediate aftermath of the assasination Phillips media asset Joseph Goulden, then Washington bureau chief for the Philadelphia Inquirer, tried to get Assistant Dallas District Attorney Bill Alexander to charge Oswald "with furthering a communist conspiracy," that LBJ had to personally squelch.

Phillips was also close personel friends with Gordon McLendon, who Jack Ruby described as one of his best friends, and Hal Hendrix of the Scrips Howard News Service, who fed deep background informatoin on Oswald to Seth Kantnor, a phone conversation that was subesquently classified for natoinal security.

In the days after the assassination Philliips interviewed a Nicaraguan secret agent in Mexico City who claimed to have seen Oswald take money from a Cuban intelligence officer at the Cuban Embassy. Phillips and others saw through the charade, but Phillips promoted it nonetheless, and when it was rejected said it was a "nice try though."

The first time Phillips met Veciana after the assassination he asked Veciana to try to bribe his cousin, a Cuban intelligence officer,  to say the same thing, trying to implicate Oswald and Castro in the assassination.

Those incidents are part of an orchestrated disinformation campaign to blame the Dealey Plaza operation on Cuban Castro Communists, a campaign that continues today by Gus Russo, Brian Latell, Phil Shenon and Bob Baer, whose discontinued JFK Declassified had the plug pulled on it at the History Channell by someone powerful enough to kill a TV show.

After Phillips was appointed Chief of Station in the Dominican Republic, the Second Naval Guerilla operation set up training bases there to prepare for another invasion of Cuba, until the arrival of the US Marines in the Dominican Republic.

In December 1969 Phillips was promoted to Chief of Station in Rio, Brazil and in 1970 he was assigned to a special task force that unsuccessfully Interted to prevent the election of Salvadore Allende in Chile, returning to where he was first recruited.

Then Phillips was made chief of station in Caracas, Venezula, Veciana worked for the Aid for International Development (AID) in the American embassy in Bolivia, a job arrang by Maurice Bishop.

In 1971 Bishop orchestrated another attempt on the life of Castro in Chile, with weapons hidden in TV cameras, which included an unauthorized aspect Operation Centaur, to blame the murder on Russians.

In an interview with Barbara Walters, Castro said that the assassins used Venezulan documents to get into Chile, and arrived through the American Embassy in Bolivia, while Phillips chief of station in and Veciana was in Bolivia.

In July 1972 a "walk-in" defector to the Chilian Embassy in Mexico City presented the Operation Centaur documents, the backlash of which led to Phillips being reprimanded, and Bishop discontinuing his relationship with Veciana. That Veciana, Bishop and Phillips would all become so entwined in the Plan Centaur affair is the clincher that confirms Bishop was Phillips all along.

JFKCountercoup2: Bishop - Phillips and Plan Centaur ]

After 25 years Phillips left the CIA to form the Association of Former Intelligence Officers (AFIO), which included Gordon McLendon and Joseph Goulden, and began to promote the intelligence services at a time when they were under attack my the media and Congress.

The AFIO supported Phillips in a number of libel cases against the Washingtonian Magazine, Anthony Summers and the Liberty Lobby, though the courts declared Phillips a public figure and he fared badly in the Liberty Lobby case, that included a defense by Mark Lane.

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