Sunday, March 25, 2018

AARC v. CIA Re: The CIA's Detailed Study of the Hitler Plot

AARC v. CIA Re: The CIA’s detailed study of the Hitler Plot to be used against Castro.

Image result for Gisevius at nuremberg ww2

Valkyrie was the code name given to the German military plot to kill Hitler that resulted in the July 20, 1944 bombing at Hitler's "Wolf's Lair" headquarters near Rastenburg in that failed to kill him. A September 25, 1963 memo of the meeting of the Joint Chiefs of Staff reports that the CIA was engaged in a "detailed study" of this plot for possible use against Fidel Castro. In August 2012 Jim Lesar and the Assassinations Archives and Research Center (AARC) filed a Freedom of Information Request (FOIA) for the CIA records on this study, a case that remains unresolved in court today.

AARC director Jim Lesar recently presented his oral argument on the significance and public interest in the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) case of Jeff Morley v. the CIA regarding the files of CIA officer George Joannedes (1). It should be noted that Lesar and the AARC also involved in three other related civil cases.

These cases include the decades-old request by the late Carl Oglesby for the US Army files on Nazi general Reinhard Gehlen , David Talbot's request for CIA officer William Harvey's travel records (2), and the six year old request for the CIA’s “detailed study” of the July 1944 plot to kill Hitler that was to be used against Castro.(3)
As Jim Lesar notes on the record I was one of the first to call attention to the relevant document – what I call “Smoking Document (#1), I was also requested to submit to a legal deposition in the case. (4)
The document, known as the “Higgins Memo,” because it was written by Col. Walter Higgins, was released by the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA) under the JFK Act of 1992 (5) and can be located in the records posted by Rex Bradford at the Mary Ferrell web site among the Joint Chiefs of Staff's papers. (6)
This document is Colonel Walter Higgins’ notes of the September 25, 1963 meeting of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, when they were briefed on the CIA’s covert operations against Cuba by Desmond FitzGerald.
Higgins was a chief aide to U.S. Marine General Victor H. Krulak, then Special Assistant for Counter Insurgency Activities (SACIA) and responsible for US military assistance to the CIA in the conduct of its covert operations, especially against Cuba. (7)
There are a number of other interesting and significant items mentioned in the Higgins memo that still warrant further research, such as the “Pendulum system” and the letter from McGeorge Bundy that was so secret it had to be silently read and then returned to Roswell Gilpatrick, “who did not want written communication by SACSA, but to put this out orally.” (8) We still don’t know what the Pendulum system was or what was in the secret communication from Gilpatrick and Bundy over fifty years later.

The key item that is being contested in court is the report in the “propaganda field,” in which Higgins quoted FitzGearld as saying that he, “,,,felt that there had been great success in getting closer to the military personnel who might break with Castro, and stated that there were at least ten high-level military personnel who are talking with CIA but as yet are not talking to each other, since that degree of confidence has not yet developed. He considers it as a parallel in history; i.e., the plot to kill Hitler; and this plot is being studied in detail to develop an approach.”

The fact that “this plot (was) being studied in detail to develop an approach,” prospectively to be used against Castro unambiguously indicates that the military plot against Hitler was “studied in detail,” and something must have been written down, but the CIA at first contended that they could find no relevant records in the CIA files about the July 20, 1944 plot to kill Hitler. Later they backtracked and offered one, a propaganda advisory on the twentieth anniversary of the bomb plot, a July 1964 report that recommended how to use the story of the Hitler plot to counter communist propaganda. (9)

James Lesar, Esq. and Dan Alcorn, Esq. were the authors of the legal briefs, and Alcorn has provided additional research contributions that are still being developed. 

In his written argument to the court Jim Lesar contended that the CIA's search for relevant records was inadequate for a number of reasons, including:

“First, CIA has provided contradictory information as to the results of its search, initially claiming it found no records, then withdrawing that letter as it was sent in error, then resending that letter, and finally conducting another search once litigation was initiated that found responsive records….” (10)

Lesar wrote that, “…it is illogical and contrary to history that the CIA has only one record related to the 1944 plot to kill Adolf Hitler, which CIA director (and Warren Commissioner) Allen Dulles was in contact with at the time. The Fact that the one document produced in this case, the Propagandist’s Guide, relates to the twentieth anniversary of the plot to kill Hitler supports the importance of the event. Even an anniversary was important enough to receive written discussion in CIA records, yet we are to believe that a detailed study of the event to develop an avenue to deal with Fidel Castro was not important enough to create records? Nor was any record created about this event in the history of the CIA other than a document related to the twentieth anniversary. Such a result is illogical and contrary to history.”

Indeed, on the July 1954 tenth anniversary, a Washington newspaper reported that the CIA director Allen Dulles had an anniversary dinner with former Nazi officer Hans Bernd Gisevious, who Dulles and his agent and paramour Mary Bancroft, assisted in escaping from Germany with forged documents. At the very least this newspaper item, or other documents related to Dulles and Gisevious should be in the CIA files, as the CIA arranged for Gisevious to come to America after he testified at Nuremberg.

Hans Bernd Gisevious testifying at Nurenberg trials, sending Nazis to the gallows. 

Since the CIA has not disclosed any records of this in their files consider this one from the public record.

The Associated Press headline read: “Key Man in Plot to Kill Hitler Dines Here with Allen Dulles.” (11)

Allen Dulles 

The story reads: “Two men whose countries were at war against each other 10 years ago met here last night to relive in memory the roles they played in the attempt to kill Hitler on July 20, 1944. They were Allen Dulles, chief of the Central Intelligence Agency, and Dr. Hans Bernd Gisevious, one of the few German conspirators who escaped death when the plot failed. Mr. Dulles invited Dr. Gisevious to dinner for ‘a sort of anniversary party’ recalling one of the most amazing intrigues of World War II.”

“The story began when Mr. Dulles went to Switzerland late in 1942 to organize an American espionage center. In Berne he met Dr. Gisevious, who then was German Vice Consul and actually a member of the Nazi intelligence organization, the Abwehr. Dr. Gisevius was anti-Nazi and convinced, as were many of his countrymen, that Hitler was leading the nation to destruction. He put Mr. Dulles in touch with the anti-Nazi underground and the two men secretly worked together in encouraging the plot that finally was climaxed by the attempt on Hitler’s life.”

“Through Dr. Gisevius, Mr. Dulles was able to keep his government advised of the activities of the German underground which reached high into the German military.”

“Hitler survived the bomb that exploded in his secret headquarters in East Prussia and ordered a blood purge of the conspirators. Dr. Gisevius, then in Germany, hid from Hitler’s agents until Mr. Dulles managed to smuggle forged identification papers to him. Then as, ‘Dr. Hoffman,’ Dr. Gisevius eluded the Gestapo and made his way to Switzerland…”

As I mention in my declaration to the court, one of the direct connections between the 1944 plot to kill Hitler and the assassination of JFK is the fact that Allen Dulles’ assistant and paramour Mary Bancroft was the OSS contact with Gisevius and she went on to translate Gisevius' histories of the Third Reich. (12)

    Mary Bancroft 
Mary Bancroft was also the best friend and traveling companion of Ruth Forbes Paine Young, Michael Paine’s mother, who Michael Paine’s wife visited before picking up Marina and the rifle in New Orleans and taking them to Texas while Oswald went to Mexico City. (13)

Paine's station wagon used to transport the rifle to and from New Oreans and Ruth and Michael Paine

As both Dulles and Bancroft were working for the OSS at the time of the July 20, 1944 assassination and coup attempt against Hitler, perhaps it is not only in the CIA records where they should look for the CIA’s “detailed study” of the Hitler plot, but also in the OSS archives. (14)
In his response to the court Lesar said, “In addition to the explicit references in the Higgins memo, AARC has provided references to the Church Committee investigation and an unrebutted declaration from author William E. Kelly, Jr. as to his findings as to show where the plot to kill Hitler appears in the circumstances surrounding the assassination of President Kennedy." (15)

Some but not all of the dozen or so associations between the Hitler Plot and the JFK Assassination are mentioned in the Kelly Declaration supplied to the court. Further elaboration on them and other developments in this case will appear in another article.
The CIA's contention that there are no other records of the Valkyrie plot to kill Hitler among the CIA files is preposterous, especially in view of the documents that a "detailed study" was undertaken 
and reported to the Joint Chiefs. 

Lesar stated that: “The documentary record of the Higgins Memorandum evidences the likelihood of more of documentary record than the CIA has provided to date. The Higgins memo records a briefing of the Joint Chiefs of Staff of the US military by the CIA’s head of Cuban activities during a period in which the US relationship with Cuba was one of the highest priority items of the US foreign policy. The CIA’s detailed study of the 1944 plot to kill Hitler in order to develop an approach to Fidel Castro (emphasis added) was therefore one of the most important activities of the US government at the time. Yet the CIA has failed to produce any such records or explain the failure to do so.”
Lesar requested a discovery be conducted to learn exactly what areas of the CIA archives the search included, suggested other places they should look, and in noticing that the CIA’s chief historian David Robarge assisted in this search, asked the court that Robarge be deposed under oath to answer questions as to his knowledge of these records. (16)
Lesar wrote, “the CIA withholds the crucial information that would document its search and results by withholding the contents of five documents that record the search process…AARC must be allowed to take discovery in these searchers and errors, including the deposition of CIA chief historian David Robarge.” (17)
Robarge, Lesar notes, wrote a biography of John McCone, CIA Director at the time of the assassination, and he was consulted in the course of the search for these records, and even searched his own records for any that were responsive to the request. (18)
Lesar also called the court’s attention to President Trump’s propensity to want to release records, especially CIA and assassination records saying, “President Trump has recently utilized the public interest provision of Executive Order 13526 to release Top Secret classified information in other contexts, in particular release of the House of Representatives Intelligence Committee report on compliance with the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act.” (19)
“FOIA requires CIA to pursue these compelling leads and information,” Lesar said, “and does not require the AARC to prove (what) CIA has in its possession but cannot find.”
In conclusion Lesar wrote, “Further AARC prays the Court for an order compelling CIA to release to plaontiff the material withheld improperly under exemption claims as set forth above.” 


3)     AARC v. CIA – Re: Detailed Study of Hitler Plot to be adapted against Castro – Filed August 25, 2012. It should be noted that DC attorney Dan Alcorn has contributed greatly to developing the research and writing the legal briefs on this case.    /

5)     JFK Act of 1992 - https:/m/

6)     Higgins Memo - Mary Ferrell – JCS Records - mtg 9-25-63 Hitler plot.pdf?dl=0

8)     Pendelum, McGeorge Bundy and Roswell Gilpatrick –  Note last two items. - relPageId=3&tab=page

“     After the JCS meeting Admiral Riley called Colonel Higgins into his office and read a letter from Mr. McGeorge Bundy which discussed secrecy measures necessary related to Cuba CIA operations. Admiral Riley directed Colonel Higgins to have the nature of this letter put out through SACSA control to SACSA contact points to insure an adequate system for secrecy within the military services. Admiral Riley stated he was returning the letter to Mr. Gilpatric as he did not want written communication by SACSA, but to put this out orally. This was transmitted to Colonel Wyman who will take the action to prepare an appropriate memorandum for the record to be filed with General Ingelido in accordance with further direction by Admiral Riley.”

“General Wheeler, Chief of Staff of the Army, called and questioned us concerning SACSA's access for the knowledge of such operations as mentioned in the McGeorge Bundy letter. I advised him that our Pendulum system was in being but that I would look into it in greater detail to determine that it met the letter as well as the spirit of the memorandum. I stated I believed this was so but had not had reason to do it until this date and therefore did not give him a positive answer at that time.”

10)  No other responsive records – It is logically impossible that the CIA has no documents in all of its archives that relate to the July 20, 1944 Valkyrie Plot to kill Hitler, an incident that directly involved former CIA director Allen Dulles, who celebrated the 10th anniversary over dinner with Has Bernd Gisevious, one of the few plotters who survived the resulting purge, testified against the Nazis at Nurenberg and came to America to work for Dresser Industries in Dallas.

11)  Dulles and Gisevius dine on July 20, 1954 – Washington Star, July 21, 1954. The full AP report is published above.

12)  Bancroft, Mary. Autobiography of a Spy (William Morrow, 1983) Bancroft writes that she was accompanied by Ruth Forbes Paine (Young) on a steamship trip to Europe when she met her husband, a Swiss businessman, which put her in position to assist Dulles during the war. She was the intermediary between Gisevius and Dulles, assisted in Gisevius’ escape from Germany and translated his histories of the Third Reich.

13)  Ford, Gerald. Portrait of the Assassin. (Simon and Schuster, 1965). In this book Ford mentions a letter Ruth Hyde Paine wrote to Marina Oswald in New Orleans in the summer of 1963, inviting the pregnant Marina to move in and live with her in Texas until the baby was born. If she agreed, Marina was instructed to write to her in care of “Arthur Young, Paoli, Pa.,” the husband of Michael Paine’s mother Ruth Forbes Paine Young. She apparently agreed because Ruth H. Paine picked up Marina, the daughter and their belongings (including the rifle) on September 24, 1963, a date coinciding with the CIA briefing of the JCS, and took them to Texas while Oswald went to Mexico.

14)  OSS Archives – . Among the Office of Strategic Services (OSS) Archives is a document that reflects the fact that two OSS officers were to be sent to China on a mission together – G. Walton Moore – the CIA Domestic Contacts Division officer who was George deMohrenschildt’s contact, and Charles Ford – the CIA officer who was said to be assigned to be the cut-out liaison between RFK and the mobsters – John Rosselli and Sam Giancana.

16)  Discovery of CIA search methods and records of the search are included in five records not released, that Lesar requested.

18)  Robarge biography of McCone and DCI McCone and the Assassination of President Kennedy from National Security Archive.

19)  President Trump – “President Trump has recently utilized the public interest provision of Executive Order 13526 to release Top Secret classified information in other contexts, in particular release of the House of Representatives Intelligence Committee report on compliance with the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act.”

20. If you want to support James Lesar and the ASRC you can do so at their web site.

You can also support Mary Ferrell at Maryferrell. Org

You can support Bill Kelly`s research by joining

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