Friday, December 25, 2009

Col. Jose Rivera & US Army Service Command


Col. Jose Rivera & US Army Service Command

The officers overseeing his work, according to the patch on the shoulder, are from the US Army Service Command - which included the Medical Corps and Chemical and Biological warfare, both of which Rivera was assocaited with.
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In charge of the Army Service Forces, Lieutenant General Brehon B. Somervell had built LaGuardia Airport in New York and later was responsible for the design and construction of the Pentagon.

Active 9 March 1942 – 11 June 1946

So this photo can be dated between 42 and 46.
The officer on the right seems like he's a gruff, no-nonsense, gungo ho type, while the other guy with glasses is a quiet thinker. Is that Somervell himself?

The Army Service Forces was one of the three autonomous components of the Army of the United States during World War II, the others being the Army Air Forces and Army Ground Forces. It was created on February 28, 1942 by Executive Order Number 9082 "Reorganizing the Army and the War Department" [1], and War Department Circular No.59, dated March 2, 1942.

In March 1942, there was a sweeping reorganization of the Army. This was the result of dissatisfaction with the existing structure, with the United States Army Air Forces in particular seeking greater autonomy. However, the main driver was the Chief of Staff, who felt overwhelmed by the large number of officers and agencies — at least 61 — with direct access to him.

The Chief of Staff wanted no more than three commands reporting to him, so everything which did not fit into the Army Ground Forces or Army Air Forces became part of the Services of Supply, which was renamed the Army Service Forces on 12 March 1943, as it was felt that the term 'supply' did not accurately describe its broad range of activities.

Army Service Forces brought together elements of five different components of the Army: elements of the War Department General Staff, especially its G-4 component; the Office of the Under Secretary of War; the eight administrative bureaux; the nine corps areas, which became the service commands; and the six supply arms and services, which became known as the technical services.
Technical Services

Six Technical Services found themselves part of Army Service Forces when it was formed in 1942: the Corps of Engineers, Signal Corps, Ordnance Department, Quartermaster Corps, Chemical Corps and Medical Corps. A seventh technical service, the Transportation Corps was established as the Transportation Division 28 February 1942 under Executive Order 9082. It was renamed the Transportation Service in April 1942 and became a corps in its own right on 31 July 1942. The Transportation Corps took over control of the ports of embarkation, regulating points and railways.
Unlike the chiefs of the combat arms, who had their offices abolished and their authority transferred to the Chief of Army Ground Forces, neither the duties nor the structure of the technical services was altered by their becoming part of the Army Service Forces, but their status changed, and the chiefs no longer had direct access to the Chief of Staff or the Secretary of War.

Each of the Technical Services ran its own procurement and field depots.

According the website of the U.S. Army Institute of Heraldry, the insignia of the Army Service Forces consisteed of "a blue five-pointed star, one point up, 1 3/8 inches in diameter on a white background within a red border, outside diameter 2 1/4 inches, inside invected of six." The patch was approved on July 30, 1941 and has had numerous designations. It redesignated as the "Army Service Forces" patch in March 1943; "Technical and Administrative Services" in June 1946; and "DA Staff Support" in 1969. The shoulder sleeve insignia is now authorized for personnel assigned to Department of the Army Field Operating Agencies.[1] From 1980 through 2006 it was worn by members of the U.S. Army Trial Defense Service.



“It will happen after the Shriner’s circus comes to New Orleans.” – Dr./Col.
Jose Rivera.

After I began to take Adele Edisen seriously, and closer examine her story, I
broke up various aspects of her conversations with Dr. Rivera into SERIALS – to
see if they could be checked out. A few of them seemed easy, others more
difficult, but hints and clues that latched onto something real that could be

For instance, [SERIAL # 6 ] Edisen quoted Rivera as saying: “We’ll have him go
to the library and read up on all of the great assassins in history.”

The list of books Oswald checked out of the New Orleans Public Library was not
classified, and from what I’ve seen of the list, though I might not have the
complete list, there aren’t any books on assassination that I could find in a
quick perusal. There are however, some interesting authors – Aldus Huxley, Ian
Fleming, …… but nothing about assassins.

In the course of reading the Secret Service Exceptional Case Study Project
(ECSP) it is interesting to note that in the course of attempting to profile and
manage potential assassins that come to their attention, they list Questions to
Ask in a Threat Assessment: “Has the subject shown an interest in any of the
following? – Assassins or assassination. Weapons (including recent acquisition
of a weapon. Militant or radical ideas/groups. Murders, murderers, mass
murderers, and workplace violence and stalking incidents.”

Now SERIAL # 6 was the first part of Adele Edisen’s story that didn’t check
out, so far, and it is a peculiar one.

All of the significant SERIALS do check out while one seemingly insignificant
one does not.

I thought an even more bizarre quote Edisen attributes to Rivera is: “It will
happen after the Shriner’s circus comes to New Orleans.”

Now I’ve since learned that the Shriner’s Circus does come to New Orleans every
November, and it is apparently a big social occasion. I also have a list of the
organizations that Dr. Jose River was a member of, including the Shriners.

So it was with some interest that I somehow, quite miraculously came into
possession of a pulp paperback book, “Parade To Glory – The Shriners – and their
Caravan to Destiny” by Fred Van Deventer ( Pyramid Books, N.Y., 1964);
p. 275:

“It was even possible that Governor Earl Warren (later to become Chief Justice
of the United States) served as prophet when he welcomed the Imperial Council
representatives to California, by declaring that America is a fraternal nation.
‘It is,’ he said, ‘a land of fraternities, and one of the greatest is the Shrine
of North America. Nations across the waters do not understand this phase of or
national life….I wish all the world could absorb this fraternal spirit and put
it to work. It is all that is necessary to solve the most troublesome problems
of our turbulent times…..If the world would adopt the same attitude towards the
poor, the weak and the under-privileged that the Shrine has maintained toward
the crippled children of North America, without regard to race, creed or color,
it would dispel most of the darkness around us. There is no gloom that cannot be
driven out by the sunshine of the Shrine.’”


“Thus it was that it became apparent to him [Dr. Clayton F. Andrews] in the
decade of the fifties that while the hospitals had successfully and mercifully
treated thousands of children afflicted with orthopedic deformities, not much
use had ever been made of the wide background and knowledge obtained by the
hospitals and doctors from all of the successes and, of course, a few failures.

“During the decade, Dr. Guy A. Caldwell, professor of surgery at
Tulane University in New Orleans, had become chief of the advisory board of
orthopedic surgeons, and as Dr. Andrews moved up the line became friendly with
him. And so it was that at the mid-winter meeting of the Board of Trustees of
the hospitals at the Astor Hotel in New York in January of 1958, Dr. Andrews
presented Dr. Caldwell to make a long and detailed speech on the value that
could be obtained from all of the hospital records if the board would approve a
program of clinical research.”

p. 298:

“Dr. Andrews conceded in the discussion that his program of clinical
research would not need all of the funds the hospital corporation had available
for research, and [Imperial Sir Marshall M.] Porter replied that side by side
with the program of clinical research, the Shriners should explore some other
field that bears some relation to the overall picture of the Shriners Hosptial
for Crippled Children. But what field? No one knew.”

“In Atlantic City that July of 1959, Dr. Andrews became the Imperial
Potentate. Together with the manifold duties of his office, he continued to
watch over his research project. Seminars for surgeons were conducted. Experts
devised the punch-card IBM program, and in Washington, Chief Counsel Bob Smith
picked up the telephone in his office and put through a call to the United
States Army Medical Research Command.”

“At some unrecorded date in the spring of 1958, Smith had discussed
with some of the top medical brass of the Army, Navy and Airforce what the
Shrine might do in the field of medical research to help humanity in general,
and children in particular. And Army records reveal that a number of projects
were suggested, but Colonel Frederick Timmerman, deputy to Brigadier General
Joseph McNinch in command of the Army medical research, recalls that he had
become convinced, and told Smith, that the greatest single medical need in North
America was some facility for the treatment of major burns and research and
teaching projects connected with them.”

“While Smith had all of the suggestions in hand when he went to
Atlantic City, there is no recorded evidence that he offered them to the
trustees, but it is likely that he talked about them behind closed doors, for
after that session was concluded he immediately asked the Army’s medical
research command if they would stage a seminar on burns for the Shrine’s
leadership. They would and did on August 24 and 25….The Army doctors did a bang
up job of showing them the need for burn research. They went into every phase of
their own research programs. Colonel Edward H. Vogel, Jr., the commanding
officer of the Army medical research unit at Brooke Army Medical Center at San
Antonio, Texas, who was in charge of the only burn research center in the United
States, was particularly impressive with a movie and slide presentation of the
work his unit was doing.”

“But all of the military men said there was so much more to be done,
particularly among civilians; and among civilians, particularly children, for
burns were one of the great scourges of childhood.”

“In January of 1960, at the mid-winter meeting of the Board of
Trustees in New Orleans, there was no doubt of the enthusiasm that had been
generated…., but Caldwell cautioned that so far it was just something for the
board to think about, and that the entire matter for the time being should be
held confidential among themselves.”

“But the spark had begun to ignite into flame, and by the time the
trustees met prior to the Denver Convention, it had grown into a bright blaze,
and they unanimously approved a resolution that Chairman Calhoun should appoint
a burns committee that would make extensive investigations into a burns
treatment and research program for children and report to the mid-winter meeting
in Las Vegas, Nevada, the following January…”

“The committee wasted no time. They quickly called into consultation
the doctors, the lawyers and the builders. The doctors and the committee visited
at the Brooke Army Medical Center. So did the Shrine’s architects so that they
might report on just what would be involved structurally if a burns program was
finally approved. The lawyers investigated the legal feasibility of the COLORADO
CORPORATION entering into such a program, and they quickly discovered from a
search of the records that Shriners Hospitals for Crippled Children had been
treating burns cases of children for years because burns created orthopedic
problems. The Surgical Advisory Board was unanimous in its opinion that while
burns created problems other than orthopedic, certainly burn cases were
orthopedic in character because bone and muscle contractures.”

“Progress was being made by the committee, but it was slow work for
there were so few people to advise. They had talked, of course, with Colonel
Vogel in San Antonio and with Dr. Truman Blocker, another former Army burn
specialist, and now a professor of surgery at the University of Texas Medical
School in Galveston. Dr. Blocker and Dr. Vogel also recommended that they talk
with Dr. Curtis P. Artz, associate professor of surgery at the University of
Mississippi, who as an Army colonel had originally set up the Brooke burns

“At the Imperial session in Miami in July, 1961, the burns committee
was able to make an interim report, but they were not quite ready to formalize a
program. There was still much work to do. Dr. Caldwell needed to talk with the
deans of important medical schools, so that when a program would be formally
introduced there would be no doubt of its final passage. The delay in Miami was
brought on largely through the death of [Council] Bob Smith in Boston on May 12,
1961 of a heart attack. He was visiting Robert Gardner Wilson in connection with
his activities on behalf of the proposed burns institutes...”

“Galloway Calhoun, who had lived most of his life at the center of drama, died
the same way as he addressed the 90th annual conclave of the Knights Templar of
Arkansas on the evening of April 16, 1962….Past Imperial Potentate [ Thomas C.]
Law died three weeks later on May 4, 1962, in a private hospital in Atlanta, and
thus three men who had had so much to do with the Shrine’s hoped-for new
philanthropy were not present when the Shriners began to arrive in Toronto on
June 30.”

“Dr. Caldwell returned to tell the Shriners that as projected, the burns
institutes would provide three things – 1. immediate treatment for burned
children, treatment within 48 hours, which would require in many cases air
travel for the patient; 2. total burn research in laboratories in each
institute, which would be located on or adjacent to campuses of outstanding
medical universities where vast facilities for treatments associated with burns
would be available; and 3. the creation of programs for the teaching of teams of
burn doctors and technicians, which could then take to all America training
programs for other teams to be created.”

p. 309:

“In the end, the committee chose the Harvard Medical School and Massachusetts
General Hospital; the University of Texas Medical School Branch at Galveston,
Texas; and the University of Cincinnati Medical School and University Hospital.
The first institute to begin actual construction was that at Galveston, Texas,
where Imperial Potentate Howard C. Close broke ground on June 23, 1964.


“’Accompanied by 50 brass bands, some 500 horses, and at least two camels, the
Shriners swarmed into Manhattan 150,000 strong, occupied 85 hotels and motor
inns, added to the traffic jams, monopolized sidewalks, held seven-hour-long
parades and displayed a keen group sense of humor in a thousand hilarious ways,
including occasionally entangling innocent natives in loops of invisible thread.
They wore red fezzes, red and green floppy harem trousers, and red-embroidered
jackets and looked like wandering extras from ‘The Forty Days of Musa Dagh,’
They were the respectable and respected members of the Ancient Arabic Order
Nobles of the Mystic Shrine. As representatives of an organization forthrightly
dedicated to whoopee in a good cause, the Shriners are pranksters by


“Equally important, among his [O.Carlyle Brock’s] first messages to
temples was that he wanted Shrine units to make every public appearance possible
so that the general public might know that Shriners, playing at Moslems and
Infidels, are dedicated Masons, actively working at and contributing to the
welfare of those less fortunate. Moreover, he wanted the public to know that in
their antics and demonstrations, they still lived within the code, as William B.
Melish put it in 1892:

‘Pleasure without intemperance, hospitality without rudeness and jollity without


The terrible wounds inflicted by chemical weapons such as chlorine and mustard gas, in World War I spawned international attempts to ban their use in warfare. The 1925 Geneva Convention succeeded only in banning first use in war of chemical and biological weapons. The United States signed this Convention but Congress failed to ratify it; thus, the United States was not bound by its prohibitions. Nevertheless, there was a widespread belief that the United States would comply with the Convention….

Ironically, as the first President publicly to commit the United States to the policy of the Geneva Conventions, President Roosevelt announced in June 1943, with the intent of warning Japan against the use of such weapons: “I state categorically that we shall under no circumstances resort to the use of such weapons [poisons or noxious gases] unless they are first used by our enemies.” As he spoke, however, he knew the United States had intensified its biological research effort three months earlier, with the construction of a facility for drug research at Fort Detrick, Maryland…

The Army’s facility at Fort Detrick remained the center of biological weapons research and development.

1. Chemical and Biological Activities.

Against this background, the Central Intelligence Agency entered into a special agreement with the Army on a project which the CIA codenamed MKNAOMI. The original purpose of MKNAOMI is difficult to determine. Few written records were prepared during its 18-year existence; most of the documents relating to it have been destroyed; and persons with knowledge of its early years have either died or have been unable to recall much about their association with the project. However, it is fair to conclude from the types of weapons developed for the CIA, and from the extreme security associated with MKNAOMI, that the possibility of first use of biological weapons by the CIA was contemplated.

The Army agreed that the Special Operations Division (SOD) at Fort Detrick would assist the CIA in developing, testing, and maintaining biological agents and delivery systems. By this agreement, CIA acquired the knowledge, skill, and facilities of the Army to develop biological weapons suited for CIA use. In 1967, the CIA summarized MKNAOMI objectives:

a. To provide for a covert support base to meet clandestine operational requirements.
b. To stockpile severely incapacitating and lethal materials for the specific use of TSD [Technical Services Division].
c. To maintain in operational readiness special and unique items for the dissemination of biological and chemical materials.
d. To provide for the required surveillance, testing, upgrading, and evaluation of materials and items in order to assure absence of defects and complete predictability of results to be expected under operational conditions.
In reviewing the records and testimony of SOD personnel, it is easy, for the most part, to distinguish SOD’s work for the Army from its work for the CIA, even though very few SOD scientists knew of the CIA connections. For example, the CIA personnel who worked with SOD were identified as military officers from the fictitious Staff Support Group, whose interest in SOD was markedly different from the Army’s. The CIA was careful to ensure that its moneys were transferred to SOD to cover the cost of CIA projects and the few existing SOD records indicate which projects were to be charged against the funds received from “P-600,” the accounting designation for CIA funds.

SOD’s work for the Army from 1952 until the early 1960s was primarily to assess the vulnerability of sensitive installations, such as the Pentagon, air bases, and subway systems, to biological sabotage by an enemy. In order to conduct these tests, SOD personnel would develop small, easily disguised devices – such as spray canisters and spray pens – containing harmless biological agents. SOD personnel would surreptitiously gain access to the installation, leaving the devices to release the biological agent. SOD personnel would then monitor its spread throughout the installation. In this way, SOD could determine how vulnerable the installation was to sabotage of this kind and could advise those charged with security of the installation on countermeasures.

Although the CIA was interested in the kinds of delivery devices which SOD could make for delivery of the biological agents, CIA projects were distinct because they involved the mating of delivery systems to lethal or incapacitating biological agents, instead of harmless agents used in vulnerability tests. The CIA would ask SOD to produce a delivery system and a compatible biological agent – a request not made by the Army until the early 1960s.

SOD on occasion physically transferred biological agents in “bulk” form, various delivery devices, and most importantly, delivery devices containing biological agents, to CIA personnel. Although none of the witness before Select Committee could recall any transfer of such material for actual use by the CIA, evidence available to the Committee indicates that he CIA attempted to use the material. It is fair to conclude that biological agents and delivery devices prepared at Fort Detrick and transferred to the Staff Support Group were carried by CIA agents in attempted assassinations of foreign leaders. However, the Committee found no evidence that such material was ever in fact used against a person by the CIA.

By the early 1960s, the Army also became interested in the type of work SOD was doing for the CIA. The Army apparently decided that his type of surreptitious delivery device might be useful to Special Forces units in guerrilla warfare. SOD developed special bullets containing poison darts which could be fired, with little noise, from standard military weapons and small portable devices capable of spraying biological agents into the air which would form lethal clouds. Ultimately, the Army stockpiled a quantity of these bullets, but never transferred them to field units.

SOD developed another capability according to existing records which, so far as the Committee could determine, was never tapped by Army or by the CIA. Whereas most SOD work was devoted to biological weapons which could kill one individual noiselessly and with almost no trace of which would kill or incapacitate a small group. SOD did research the possibilities of large-scale covert use of biological weapons. SOD scientists prepared a memoranda, which were passed to the CIA, detailing what diseases were common in what areas of the world so that covert use of biological weapons containing these diseases could easily go undetected. SOD researched special delivery devices for these biological agents, but it never mated such delivery devices with biological agents…

2. Termination

All the biological work ended in 1969. Shortly after taking office, President Nixon ordered the staff of the National Security Council to review the chemical and biological weapons program of the United States. On November 25, 1969, he stated that the United States renounced the use of any form of biological weapons that kill or incapacitate. He further ordered the disposal of existing stocks of bacteriological weapons…

The Defense Department duly carried out the Presidential directive according to the instructions and supervision of the National Security Council staff. However, a CIA scientists acquired from SOD personnel at Fort Detrick approximately 11 grams of shellfish toxin, a quantity which was approximately one-third of the total world production and which was sufficient to prepare tens of thousands of darts. This toxin, a known danger if inhaled, swallowed, or injected, was then stored in a little-used laboratory at the CIA where its presence went undetected for five years.

The transfer of SOD to the CIA resulted in a major quantity of toxin being retained by an agency in a manner which clearly violated the President’s order. The evidence to the Committee established that he decision to transfer and to retain the shellfish toxin was not made by, or known to, high-level officials of either the Defense Department or the CIA. The Director of the CIA was told of the possibility of retaining the toxin, but he rejected that course of action. The Committee found that the decision to keep the toxin, in direct and unmistakable contradiction of a widely announced Presidential decision, was made by a few individuals in the CIA and SOD.

Nevertheless, the history of MKNAOMI and the atmosphere surrounding it undoubtedly contributed to the mistaken belief of those individuals that they were not directly affected by the President’s decision.

The MKNAOMI project itself was contrary to the Untied States policy since 1925 and to Presidential announcement since 1943, for it contemplated a first use of biological weapons by the CIA – albeit in the context of small covert operations. Moreover, because of the sensitive nature of MKNAOMI, these scientists gave their superiors little written record of their work and received little or no written guidance.

The National Security Council staff, charged by the President with determining what U.S. policy should be, did not discover MKNAOMI in the course of its study and did not, therefore, consider the possibility that he CIA had biological weapons or biological agents.

The CIA employee who claims to have made the decision, on his own, to retain the toxin received no written instructions to destroy them. Kept outside the National Security Council’s study, the employee had to rely only on the newspaper account of the President’s announcement and his own interpretation of it.



Mark A. O'Blazney said...

thanks for your time in compiling this.

Unknown said...

Bill, I've always thought that Mrs. Edelsen's encounter with Jose Rivera was an exercise in hypnosis, or mind control through the use of LSD (delivered through Life Savers). You stated Serial #6 as not 'checking out' (“We’ll have him go to the library and read up on
all of the great assassins in history”). Your operative words were "checked out." Oswald did not necessarily have to check out these books, but could still have read them at the library. The other factor in these reported episodes is the script-like characterization of the details presented by Jose Rivera to Mrs. Edelsen. I've suspected that Oswald and his movements were being tightly controlled by covert agencies. We were told Oswald went to New Orleans because he could not find work in Texas. Yet, in New Orleans, he engages in highly provocative and contradictory political activities during the summer of 1963. Then, allegedly, he goes to Mexico City and continues his one man crusade to obtain visas to enter Cuba, or the Soviet Union. When he completed these assignments, he returned to Dallas where the erstwhile FBI agent Hosty latches on to Oswald's whereabouts. Oswald goes on to
unprecedented and non-replicated feats of expert marksmanship, as imagined by the men who wrote the Warren Report. We now know when the lone-nut template was adopted by officialdom, the objective of pursing the JFK case shifted to "closing doors instead of opening them." The unanswerable question is this: how do we know if the command to "kill the chief?" was not given to Oswald? If, as Mrs Edelsen describes, she stopped everything she was doing - for no apparent reason - to call Jose Rivera at 4:31 pm, is this not indicative of post-hypnotic suggestion? Her obsession to call the phone number given, and to speak to Oswald, to tell him to "kill the chief" seems more than witting behavior on her part - another must-follow-through hypnotic command. There are aspects, particularly the LSD/hypnosis phases of her story, that incline toward obfuscation than clarification. If Rivera drew a schematic of how the hit was to (conceptually) happen by stating "there will be men on the fifth floor," which there were (James Jarman, Jr, Bonnie Ray Williams, and Harold Norman). Jack Erwin Dougherty stated he was on the 5th floor, alone, and heard a shot that sounded like it came from inside the building. Where was Dougherty during the shooting, since the three other workers (Jarman, Williams, and Norman) were in 5th floor windows during the shooting? Oswald was seen on the 1st and 2nd floors before and after the shooting.

Lee Shepherd said...

Edward William Alton Ochsner, surgeon, academic. Born, Kimball, S. D., May 4, 1896; son of Edward Philip Ochsner (1851-1945) and Clara Leda Schontz (1859-1947), left behind a renowned clinic in New Orleans. Dr. Ochsner was good friends with retired OSS director William Donovan and a cleared intelligence source as early as 1953. He was also close friends with Clint Murchison. Jim Garrison believed he was part of Clay Shaw's plot to kill the President. There is evidence that the highly esteemed doctor knew Lee Harvey Oswald. One of Ochsner’s staff who sat on the Board of Directors was a man listed only as Rivera, M.D., PH.D., also known as Colonel Jose A. Rivera, a U.S. Army biological warfare expert. The testimony of Dr. Adele Edison, a neurologist working at the center, states she had been given Oswald’s name and his phone number in April 1963 by Dr. Rivera. Ochsner was also president and founder of an organization called the Information Council of the Americas (INCA), a right-wing propaganda mill that distributed anti-communist material to 120 radio stations throughout Latin American. In a letter written to his friend Senator Allen Ellender in the early sixties, Ochsner said, “I sincerely hope that the Civil Rights Bill can be defeated, because if it were passed, it would certainly mean virtual dictatorship by the President and the Attorney General, a thing I am sure they both want.”