Thursday, April 19, 2018

Thursday April 26, 2018 Deadline Looms

Thursday April 26, 2018

President Trump's self-imposed deadline of Thursday April 26, 2018 is fast approaching for him to decide whether to release all of the remaining withheld government records on the assassination of President Kennedy, as he has repeatedly promised to do, or continue to withhold some of them at the request of the heads of government agencies.

The law of the land - the JFK Act of 1992, has already been effectively sidestepped, as it required all government records on the assassination to be released in full by October 26, 2017, twenty-five years after Congress unanimously passed the JFK Act that was reluctantly signed by President George H. W. Bush on that date. At the time Bush added a rider to the law that gave the President the authority to continue to withhold records past that date for reasons of national security.

While Bush did not know that Trump would be President today, President Trump repeatedly promised and tweeted that he would release all of the records in full, especially since he was at war with the "Deep State," noteably the FBI. 

Then, at the very last minute, late in the afternoon of October 26, 2017, his chief of staff, former General John Kelly (USMCR), persuaded him to delay the determination for another six months, even though the agencies of government had 25 years to make their determination. 

Two other deadlines imposed by Trump have come and gone - the March 12th deadline for the heads of the agencies of government to make their requests for continued postponement to the Archivist of the United States (AOTUS) David Ferriero, and a March 26th date the AOTUS had to make his recommendations to the President.

While the deliberation process involved in such administrative decisions can be considered exempt from Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requests, we will eventually learn what agencies requested records be continually withheld and what the AOTUS recommended, but in the meantime the April 26th deadline looms ahead and cannot be ignored.

Even though the NARA had ''no comment'' on either the identity of the agencies that requested continued postponement or the AOTUS recommendations to the President,  we will eventually come to know those facts,  and they can't remain silent after April 26, 2018.

At the same time the National Archives recognizes the huge public interest in this subject,  as demonstrated by the collapse of the NARA internet servers by the sheer number of people who tried to access the documents they did release in October 2017, yet they continue to ignore the topic as relevant news on their web site. That's something they can't do after April 26, 2018.

President Trump could do a number of things. He could do as he threatened and promised, and release all of the records in full as the law requires, or he can cow tow to the CIA, FBI and military and continue to withhold some of the records they request be kept secret from the public. 

If all the records are released in full there will probably be a temporary clamor in the mainstream media, and then everybody will forget all about it and move on.

More than likely Trump will either postpone the release again,  or continue to withhold records that agencies request be continually withheld indefinately.  

If that is the case there will be some positive attributes to the continued secrecy. 

For one, if they withhold some records,  they will have to release the remaining records that are still being withheld but are not on the lists of those requested to be continually withheld. So either way  there should be a windfall of newly released and previously secret records even if they continually withhold some. 

In addition, if they request some records be continually withheld, Peter Dale Scott`s ``negative template`` thesis comes into play as they will be calling attention to the most sensitive and secret records they want to keep from the public.  

In that case the law requires they identify the agency of record,  the subject matter,  RIF - Record Identification Number and why it is still being withheld. 

By continually withholding records that the JFK Act ordered released they will sturr up a public clamor that will force Congress to act and hold the required public oversight hearings they haven't held since 1997.

Just as the Facebook scandal forced Congress to hold hearings and call Mark Zuckerberg to testify under oath in public, such similar hearings on the JFK Act could determine how and why the law is being subverted and sidestepped by the NARA,  FBI,  CIA and military. 

In addition many of the most important JFK assassination records have been kept out of the JFK Collection at the National Archives,  including the files of the first chairman of the House Select Committee on Assassinations Richard Sprague, the ONI Defector file and the Soviet KGB files, among others. 

Then there are the extensive list of records that have been intentionally destroyed that Bill Simpich has compiled,  and the over 50 records that are missing,  but known to exist, that should be the subjects of Congressional oversight but aren't,  yet. 

While we don't know how this will all play out, it's going to go one way or another, and something will happen come April 26, 2018, as the sunset deadline is fast approaching. 

As Yogi Berra said,  ''When you get to the fork in the road,  take it,'' and while we don't yet know which way it will go, either way something will happen. 

Stay tuned.  

Bill Kelly 

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Thursday, April 12, 2018

Colonels at Dealey Plaza


Colonels are the highest ranking officers on the battlefield – what the snipers call a HPT – High Priority Target – guys who take their insignia off before going out in the open. They are the - Go To guys the Generals personally give instructions and orders and they’re the ones responsible for seeing those orders are carried out.

On the chess board the Colonels are Bishops, Rooks and Knights and capable of maneuvering and striking from different directions and distances.

There were three colonels at the Alamo – Colonel William Barrett Travis, Colonel Jim Bowie and Colonel David Crockett. 

And there were a number of Army and Air Force Colonels directly involved in JFK Assassination – “boots on the ground – in the field" and at the command centers. I intend to get photos and the official files and develop dossiers on each of these men and would appreciate anything you can add to the record.

Not yet arranged in any particular order:

-       Col. Walter Higgins – Aide to Gen. Krulak and author of the Higgins Memo, considered by some to be the single most significant “Smoking Document” among the JFK assassination records and the subject of a number of FOIA requests and an ongoing AARC civil suit.

-          Lt. Col. William B. Rose – chief of the Army Intelligence Reserve Branch Office of the Assistant Chief of Staff, Intelligence (ACSI USAR) – Pentagon, where most of the field reports end up, especially those of:

-          Col. Frank M. “Brandy” Brandstetter – Texan manager of the Havana Hilton when Castro made it his early residence.

-          Col. Sam Kail – US Embassy Havana, ACSI USAR, who met with deMohrenschildt,

-          Col. Jack Crichton MI, USAR 488th MID, who ran the Command and Control center at the Civil Defense Shelter, Dallas State Fairgrounds, and arranged for investigative translators, 

-          Col. Lawrence Orlov –  Was with deMohrenschildt when they first sought out Oswald and vistited him, RIF 104-10431-10034 

-          Col. James “J.D.” Wilmeth – U.S. Army - Arlington Texas officer who visited Marina at Ruth Paine’s house a few days before the assassination,  

-          Col. Fletcher Prouty, DOD-CIA liaison officer at the Pentagon, friend of Gen. Krulak.

-          Col. Jose Rivera USAR- Betheda, Md.   medical officer with foreknowledge of Oswald and assassination, who worked on special research project at Fort Deitrick, Md. 

-          Col. William “Bill” Amos USAF knew Gen. Joseph J. Cappucci - who expressed personal knowledge of an LBJ backed conspiracy to kill JFK, 

           Col. Philip J. Corso – Asst chief of USA Foreign Technology Division 1961 – who knew Sen. Kenneth Keating (R. NY)  and shared U2 photos of Soviet missiles in Cuba,JFKCountercoup2: Col. Philip J. Corso and Sen. Kenneth Keating (Rep. NY) / JFKCountercoup2: UFOs at Dealey Plaza

-          Col. John “Rowlins” Roselli – Civilian made Mafia boss attached to CIA case officer William Harvey during training of  Cubans at JMWAVE,  

-          Col. Erickson Nichols – the USAF embassy military officer who Frank Sturgis reported to at the US Embassy Havana;  JFKCountercoup2: Frank Sturgis - Run By US Military not CIA /  Warrior: Frank Sturgis---The CIA's #1 Assassin-Spy, Who Nearly Killed Castro ... - Jim Hunt, Bob Risch - Google Books  / FRANK STURGIS as an Agent of Cuban Government 1959

-  Lt. Col. George  L. Whitmeyer – (USA Reserve) – Commanding officer of the Nothern District of Texas – occupant of the Pilot Car in the Motorcade driven by Capt. Lumpkin of both Dallas Police Department and US Army Intelligence -

-          Col. Robert Ellis Jones – 112th Military Intelligence Group, Ft. Sam Houston, San Antonio, Texas, contacted the FBI and told them Oswald’s MI file, which was later destroyed,  indicated he used the alias A. J. Hidell   [ ] Obituary of Col Robert Ellis Jones.

Jim Loving: From the obit:"upon completion he was assigned to Special Warfare Directorate, Office of the Chief of Staff for Operations, Department of the Army at the Pentagon 1962-1964, then to the Joints Chiefs of Staff J3, actively engaged in planning and operations of the Vietnam Conflict."

-          Lt. Col. Fons – Deputy Chief of Staff - 4th Army Headquarters – Ft. Sam Houston, Tx -

-          Lt. Col. Yuriy Ivanovich Moskalevskiy

-          Col. Boris T. Pash – Led ALSOS mission,

-          Col. George Stanton Dorman – LeMay’s aide, whose wife worked at the White House and was there at the time of the assassination, and son who witnessed the burial  of JFK and toured Gen. LeMay’s control and command plane.  /

-          Col. Ralph Steakley – With Joint Chiefs of Staff during the Cuban Missile Crisis - - Founded the Joint Reconnaissance Center at Pentagon - /

-          Col. Sheffield M. Edwards – CIA – Project Bluebird - http://spartacus- /

[ From Joan Mellen's "Our Man in Haiti" -]

- Col. Roy I. Batterton, Jr. - US Naval Mission - Haiti - George deMohrenschildt wrote to him from Dallas

- Col. Howard Burris USAF - Native Texan, LBJ's Military aide - met with deMohrenschilt in DC in late April 1963

- Lt. Col. O'Wighton Delk Simpson - USAF Intel officer associated with Burris employed by Martin-Marietta in 1963 AFIO.  Bagman?  Son saw "assassination money."

- Lt. Col. William Corson USMC - wrote early history of American intelligence.

-  Col. Samuel Goodhue Kail - Military attache to Cuba June 3, 1958 - January 4, 1961 - case officer handled Antonio Veciana, associate of David Atlee Phillips.

Col. Edward Lansdale - CIA psych and special warfare specialist under Air Force cover. May have stayed in Fort Worth on JFK's last might there and photographed at Dealey Plaza after the assassination.

- Col. Roth -  Operatios Branch, Military Intel Requests info

- Col. Reinhard - debriefed on May 8

- Col. Albro - debriefed on May 8

- Lt. Col. Rene Leon - Involved in August 1963 invasion of Haiti that included Loren Hall and Robert Emmett Johnson

- Colonel George de Lannurien - French chief of CI - Counter Intelligence SDECE - in NYC (p.161)

- Col. Lawrence Orlov - Visited Oswald with deMohrenschildt and played handball with J. Walton Moore of the CIA Dallas Domestic Contacts Division

- Col. William Bishop – Expressed secret knowledge of the assassination

- Col.  Boris T Pash – OSS officer in Europe and with CIA.

-        -  Alexander Haig - staff officer in the Office of the Deputy Chief of Staff for Operations (DCSOPS) at the Pentagon (1962–64.

Bill Simpich said...No one has done this. The CIA has been done over and over again. Isn't it intriguing that the CIA documents are far more available than those of the military? How many books on military intelligence are out there compared to the CIA? Food for thought. Great project Bill.

Wednesday, April 11, 2018

Brandy's Band of Bros at Dealey Plaza

Cover of Portrait of An Intelligence Officer, published in Europe. 

The Life and Times 


Of all the military Colonels who come into play on the Dealey Plaza chess board and sand table, one stands out more than any other – Lt. Colonel Frank “Brandy” Brandstetter, not because he was any kind of a mastermind of the Dealey Plaza operation, or even there at the time, but because he was egotistical enough to brag about his exploits and have two biographies written about him that conclusively document his personal association with many of the principle players in the Dealey Plaza operation.

Brandstetter's associations and connections give us a good indication of the size and extent of the intelligence network that was conducting operations at the time of the assassination, especially at Dealey Plaza. 

Professor Peter Dale Scott (PDS), in his 2010 Dallas COPA presentation, mentioned the pivotal role played by Jack Crichton, and Crichton’s association with Lt. Col. Frank Brandstetter.

As I recall transcribing a tape of PDS’s talk and obtained the footnotes from him, I had already read one of the two Brandstetter biographies, recognized his significance in the overall scheme of things, and took particular notice of all the major and minor players that Brandy knew and worked with in the course of his employment with US Army Intelligence (ACSI), Hilton Hotels and other companies.
Most significant was his HUMIT – human intelligence support to a seemingly obscure branch of the the US military known by its acronomyn as ACSI – Assistant Chief of Staff Intelligence – for the US Army Reserves.

By 1960 there were three main types of intelligence sources – the traditional HUMIT – human intelligence networks that had not changed since the days of Sun Tzu’s Art of War.

Then there was SIGNIT intelligence – or communications intelligence, such as phone, wiretaps and secret tape recordings of conversations, that included CRYPTO intelligence or communications that are encrypted, now called COMINT - Communications Intell, and ELINT - Electronics Intelligence. 

One of the main intelligence sources to come of age in the 1960s was photo, especially aerial intelligence, that began during WWII, now called GEOINT - Geospatial intelligence gathered from satellites and aerial photos, and IMINT - Imagery intelligence. 

From Our Man in Acapulco - (University of North Texas Press, 1999) p. 129: 

“...He (Brandy) met Lieutenant Colonel William B. Rose, chief of the Army Intelligence Reserve Branch Office of the Assistant Chief of Staff, Intelligence (ACSI) at the Pentagon. The contact would later prove momentous, changing the course of Brandy’s military career. Despite Brandy’s career changes in his private life, he meant to continue his service to army intelligence. He vowed he would not disappear into a reserve control group without duties. Over the next year Brandy, at age forty-six, began a series of adventures which allowed him to pursue both his personal career in the resort hotel business and his military career as an intelligence officer which he had kept alive through the doldrums of the 1950s. Interestingly, he accumulated more U.S. Army Reserve credit points than any other officer in the Reserve.”

Chapter 11 - Cuba Si!

“When Brandy was pursuing legal action in Dallas to recover his share of proceeds from (Havana casino) Sans Souci, he had obtained a copy of Conrad Hilton’s life story, Be My Guest.

[BK Notes: By the time I read Conrad Hilton’s autobiographical paperback I had stayed at the Conrad Hilton Hotel in Chicago, just across from Grant Park, where the riots occurred at the August 1968 Democratic National Convention, where I was tear gassed by the Illinois National Guard (Army Reserves), busted by the Chicago Cops and refused to get involved in Presidential politics since then. In reading the auto biography of the founder of the Hilton Hotel chain, I thought it was inspirational that he carried a photo in his wallet of the famed Waldorf-Historia Hotel in New York City, and was determined to one day own it, and that he did.]

Our Man in Acapulco continued: “(Brandy) thought about the new concepts in Hilton’s hotel work, especially the idea of an international chain of hotels. Brandy considered that there might be a match between his own background in languages, his rich experiences, and the needs of the expanding chain. He checked the business directories and discovered that the president of Hilton International was John Hauser. Hilton International had set up a hotel in Puerto Rico as their first, semi-overseas operation, and then had plans to expand in Latin America, Europe, and the Near East…In late 1957 Brandy went to New York to meet Hauser. The two men immediately liked one another. Hauser, a marine combat officer in the war, suggested that Brandy might appreciate an appointment as manager for a planned hotel in West Berlin, and after a lunch at the Waldorf-Astoria in New York, they shook hands on the offer. Brandy was aboard with the Hilton organization. Suddenly, Hauser called him in. The hotel in Germany was still under construction. Hauser told Brandy to take a plane to Havana that night. There were problems getting the hotel there into operation and they needed a trouble-shooter….Brandy flew to Havana that evening, 13 February 1958, to undertake the position.”

Meanwhile, Brandy's psychologically sick wife was a patient at the Timberlawn psychological facility in Dallas. 

“Barbara, who was under medical care at Timberlawn in Dallas, could visit him periodically with a nurse in attendance….”

[BK Notes: Timberlawn is the Dallas psychiatric hospital where Dr. Colin A. Ross worked when he was affiliated with the CIA’s MKULTRA mind control experiments creating duel personalities, ala Candy Jones, and as exhibited in this article on the link between the CIA and multiple personality disorder.

When Brandy got to Havana he found that the, “Local ownership (of the Havana Hilton) was in the hands of the Cuban Culinary Workers’ Union. The union’s leader Sr. Aguille, had the union’s own man, Jose Menendez, appointed as general manger…As Brandy investigated both the delayed delivery of materials and work, he discovered a system of bribes reaching ten or fifteen percent over cost had been required for every detail of construction…The hotel was a mess….Hilton had sent a project manager, Peter DeTulio, to oversee completion of the work, but DeTulio was finding one frustration after another….Conrad Hilton had recruited the noted gambling expert and author, John Scarne, to serve as the corporation’s representative for inspecting casinos associated with the various hotels in the chain….In effect, Scarne’s job was to identify staff members who were stealing, either from the house or the customers….Scarene had served in the Navy during World War II,….quietly pointed out that the gambling operation, like most of the major casinos in Havana, was conducted through contract by a group with mob connections. He identified one or two famous member of the American underworld who would stop by the casino occasionally, including Meyer Lansky….The party of Hilton executives, including Conrad Hilton himself, John Hauser, Charles Bell, who was in charge of food and beverage for Hilton International, and Arthur Elminger,….”

“…The rumors of Fidel Castro’s forces raiding against the repressive regime of Cuban dictator Fulgencio Batista, had apparently scared off the tourists, even though the attacks were concentrated several hundred miles away on the eastern end of the island in Camaguey and Oriente provences ….Manuel Ray, the chief engineer (of the Havana Hilton),…had struck Brandy as a thoughtful type with little to say, warned there would be some serious consequences as a result of the layoffs….”

“The next morning, 9 April 1958,….Four Cuban security police officers strode into the room….The security forces “Blue Buick” had grown famous under the tough regime of Batista, those arrested for questioning and taken away in it usually never came back. Inside the car, he received a once-over. A burley security police type on each side squeezed him in with his arms and legs locked back; each delivered tight blows to his stomach, kidneys, face. Saying nothing, they continued to beat him as the big car drove slowly through the busy streets of Havana to the headquarters of Police District Nine……Clearing his head, Brandy read the nameplate: Major Ventura. This man was notorious, the so-called “Butcher of Havana.” ….Esteban Ventura….”

“The Hilton organization, however, could not spare Brandy for a three-week reserve duty. After some difficulty, Brandy was later able to put in two weeks at the Summer Fourth Army Area Intelligence School in Texas. When he returned to Havana, he wrote to Colonel William Rose at the Pentagon, in the Office of Assistant Chief of Staff-Intelligence (ACSI). Brandy reminded him that he would need a new billet in 1959, and sent along a collection of documents amplifying his military background. Rose remembered Brandy very well and responded within a week that he was glad to hear Brandy was 'back in Havana, where [he could] take good care of our interests.' Rose suggested that Brandy contact Colonel Sam Kail, the U.S. Army military attaché at the American Embassy in Havana. Brandy followed up, conferring with Kail regularly about the situation in Havana.” 

[BK Notes: Sam Kail was a major contact for David Atlee Phillips at the same time as he was running a public relations firm in Havana and recruiting agents and operatives like Antonio Veciana. Kail would later return to USA and with Dorothe Matlack, also a contact for Brandy, Kail and Matlack would meet with George deMohrenschildts in DC before he went to Haiti to work for Papa Doc.]

“Brandy began to learn more about the political situation by listening to discussions and gathering information from ordinary people, from journalists like Jules DuBois,…..When someone pointed out that “the Communists” were in the hills, Manuel Ray corrected him….The peasant soldiers wore crucifixes and many were devout Catholics, not Communists at all. In the summer, Brandy sent a confidential report via Colone Kail to Army G-2, suggesting an overthrow of the Batista regime by Castro’s forces would soon take place….As an army man, Brandy found the all-knowing tone from State and CIA frustrating, even wrong-headed…”

p. 143: “….One noon, Brandy had lunch with Colonel Sam Kail, the military attaché from the U.S. Embssy. Kail and Brandy worked out tentative plans for an evacuation of American tourists if the revolution reached Havana. After lunch, they were irritated to find themselves stuck in the elevator between floors….The Hilton name, Brandy feared, was attracting more and more anti-American attention….”

“…Soon however, he picked up a rumor from his grapevine that Manuel Ray was a Castro supporter. It seemed to fit, the more he thought about it…A few days after the revolution was completed, Manual Ray, former chief engineer of the Havana Hilton, received a cabinet appointment by the new Castro-led government minister of public works. Ray had apparently been in charge of all the sabotage in Havana in the summer of 1958.”

“Listening to reporters and his other sources on the grapevine, Brandy heard another, even more frightening rumor. The word was circulating that when the Castro people took over Havana, they would burn the Havana Hilton to the ground. He decided to establish liaison with the Castro forces, and planned to carry a letter through the liens to Castro, inviting him to make the Hilton his headquarters, when and if his troops arrived in Havana. Young Fred Lederer found Brandy in his office, preparing the letter….”

“…The Conrad Hilton Suite could be the CP – Command Post – for Castro himself. Brandy visualized the communication lines, internal security, and defense perimeter. He had experience setting up and staffing CPs in World War II, so it would be natural. If Castro came to the city, the invitation would save the hotel….Lederere came from a Prussian military family, was bright and had guts….Lederer’s attempt to get through to Castro occurred on Christmas Eve, 1958…Jules DuBois, the Chicago Tribune reporter who had written favorably of Castro, had contacts in the revolutionary camp….”

“…Batista had fled to the Dominican Republic….Years later, after reading CIA officer David Atlee Phillips’s account of the same evening in The Night Watch, Brandy noted that Phillips claimed to have been the first to hear of the evacuation of Batista at 4:00 A.M. The next time Brandy saw his friend Phillips, he told him had the jump on him! He knew the end was coming at 8:00 P.M. the night before, beating the CIA by eight hours. Phillips and Brandy had a good laugh over the issue.”

“…As the (New Year’s Eve) party wound down,….Brandy issued an order that the guests should not check out – he had in mind the evacuation plans developed earlier with Colonel Kail at the American Embassy, as well as the plans for Castro forces to stay in the hotel….”

“…Briefly, Brandy had an exchange with Manuel Ray, who confirmed that the mob intended to burn the hotel. Brandy handed him his jacket and went down to the lobby. From the mezzanine, a few guests observed what happened next. Among them was Philippe de Vosjoli, head of French Intelligence – the SDECE (Service de Documentation Exterieure dt de Contre-espionage) – in Cuba, Canada, the United States, the Caribbean, and Mexico. Unknown to Brandy, de Vosjoli was staying at the hotel with his wife. He later recorded the events in his autobiography, Lamia, ‘dedicated to Brandy, wherein he recorded seeing ‘a physically fit man in a white shirt with short sleeves…calmly blocking the path of an armed, angry mob.’”

“Brandy met the mob and stood his ground at the entrance to the hotel lobby, explaining the hotel was not American property. It belonged to the Cuban people – to the Cuban Culinary Workers’ Union. Hilton managed it, but if they burned down the hotel they would be destroying the Cuban workers’ savings, not American property. The crowd waved machetes, pistols and rifles…..Gradually, the crowd began to quiet, then broke into groups and argued….The standoff lasted fifteen minutes, then the rioters moved on…Meanwhile, the American Embassy evacuation plans that Colonel Kail and Barndy had worked out months before was quietly taking effect….”
“The barbudos, Brandy remembered, tended to be well behaved by comparison to some of the tourists…”

“Philippe de Vosjoli, who had observed Brandy confronting the rioters in the lobby of the hotel on 1 January, approached Brandy and introduced himself. Brandy immediately liked the straightforward, pro-American, and strongly anti-Communist French agent. De Vosjoli explained his dilemma. He believed a leak somewhere in the French security arrangements might cause the Communists among Castro’s forces to target him personally as a potential enemy. He wanted to evacuate without attracting notice. Brandy believed he should do a favor for a fellow Allied officer, especially one in the same line of business.”

“He included Philippe de Vosjoli and his wife in the group of American tourists…De Vosjoli would remember Brandy’s kindness in later years, and would share with him many confidences and insights into the problems of Communist penetration of security agencies in the Western democracies. The friendship later grew, based as it was on mutual respect and the memory of the shared risks during the Castro takeover.”

“…Offshore, by pre-arrangement through Colonel Kail, three U.S. Navy destroyers cruised in international waters, to provide protection and an escort for the ferry across the ninety miles to Key West and the United States….Among the New Year’s party-goers who wrote in appreciation were Dr. Curtice Rosser of Dallas, who was Brandy’s friend and Barbara’s personal physician, Ernest Dumler, an industrialist from Pittsburgh; John Thompson, a military reporter for the Chicago Tribune, and Frank Sherman, an attorney from New York City….”

“Meanwhile the local general manager of the hotel, Jose Menendez, went into hiding…For the first week of the revolution, Castro remained in Oriente province, finally moving into Havana on 8 January 1959 as order was restored by his troops. The motorcade proceeded directly to the Hilton. As Castro and his entourage entered, Brandy introduced himself and explained that the Conrad Hilton Suite was at the disposal of the Castro party. Brandy had taken the trouble to freshen up the suite with flowers and stock the refrigerator with soft drinks and beer. Castro and his group took a quick look, then declined to stay because the facilities were ‘too plush.’ However, a few days later the group returned, and Castro and his senior officers moved into the suite.”

“Brandy was summoned by Castro’s security and bodyguards to taste the first meals brought by room service, to ensure against poisoning. Brandy did so, and then arranged for Fred Lederer, the food and beverage manager, to do the tasting…”

“For a few weeks the Conrad Hilton Suite was converted, just as Bandy had planned, into the Castro forces’ command post….”

“Frank suggested to Colonel Kail at the embassy that it would be a good idea to arrange for an American news organization to conduct a full-scale television interview with Castro, so that more could be learned about him. Although full assessments of the Castro forces were available, little was known about Castro, the man. Brandy also suggested that the ACSI approach General David Sarnoff, U.S. Army, ret., and Chairman of the Board of RCA (which controlled NBC), as someone who could be trusted. Sarnoff had served as General Eisenhower’s communications officer during the Second World War. Sarnoff recommended that Jack Paar, host of the “Tonight Show,” conduct the interview.”

“In Cuba, Colonel Kail worked with Brandy to arrange the event…The questions, although innocuous, were exactly the sort needed by the U.S. Army to build a more complete picture of the human side of the new leader of Cuba. Brandy thought back to his days in the Field Intelligence Detachment,….. served as interpreter during the interview.”

Chapter 13 Crown, Semenenko and Hilton p. 156

“Brandy served the 1959 session of his annual active duty at the Pentagon in the Office of the Army Chief of Staff, Intelligence (ACSI), working under his first ACSI “Big Brother,” Colonel Bob Roth, in the Collection Division….This duty marked his change from Mobilization Reserve to a career over the next eighteen years of working directly for ACSI, sometimes on active duty, and at other times, after retirement, on a strictly unpaid and voluntary basis.”

“Over that time, the officer to whom he reported at ACSI would change almost every two years. In the ACSI office, continuity was provided by Mrs. Dorothe K. Matlack, a long-time civil servant and chief of the Exploitation Section of the Assistant Chief of Staff-Intelligence (ACSI-CX). Dorothe (pronounced Dorothy) personally knew Brandy and other officers who worked to supply a continuing stream of good quality “humanit,” or human intelligence. Brandy could continue the work of “eyes and ears” that he had begun under Ridgway, knowing that his “Big Brother” in Washington, whoever he would be over time, would receive his reports and that they would at least be considered and reviewed properly. Brandy’s standard operating procedure was to contact only one officer, his “Big Brother” from ACSI, thus protecting himself from possible exposure…”

“After departing the Pentagon, he visited the executive offices of Hilton International in New York City. He learned that John Hauser was no longer president of Hilton International, the position having been filled by Robert J. Caverly, a new executive…”

“He moved back to Dallas to be near Barbara, who was in a sanitarium there. He retained both his status as a Hilton manager on leave of absence and his status as a reserve lieutenant colonel, with annual active duty to be served at the Army Chief of Staff Intelligence at the Pentagon….”

“Brandy now settled into work as vice president and part owner of an auto-leasing business, Continental Leasing. The company,…operated by Dallas businessman Scott Walker, had been established in 1957. The headquarters of the firm later moved to Shreveport, Louisiana….”

“During this time, Brandy was developing a private plan that he hoped would affect the Cuban situation. He worked on a proposal to acquire used engines from the U.S. Army, particularly large engines from decommissioned army tanks, refurbish and box them, and then sell them in Cuba in 1959….”

“Meanwhile, he kept in touch with Colonel William Rose at the Pentagon office of the Assistant Chief of Staff-Intelligence. Rose arranged for Brandy to be assigned for training on weekend duties to the 488th Strategic Intelligence Team in Dallas. He contributed to a study of the capability of the Soviet oil fields, working with oil and mining engineer Colonel Jack Crichton, MI and U.S. Army, ret., who was later to explore the oil and gas reserves in the former Soviet Union during the 1990s….”

“That summer, Brandy finally received a phone call from Hilton headquarters. Effective 1 July 1959, there was an opening in Mexico, to take over as manager of a Hilton-supervised property in Acapulco, the Las Brisas….Brandy noticed one employee on the records – Ron Urbanek…during World War II he had worked on the Red Ball Express, the truck line that supplied ammunition and other supplies in 1944 and 1945 from the channel ports to Patton on the front in a massive operation…”

p. 289: “….After less than an hour, Bronfman convinced Brandy to assume the general manager’s position at Seagrams de Mexico for a year and a half to two years….Brandy met with Harold Fieldsteel, executive vice president for Finance and Administration of JES; with F. Shaker, vice president, International Administration and James E. McDonough, who was president of Seagrams Overseas Sales Company (SOSCO)….”

P. 314: “During 1980 conservative writers and commentators, like those on Gordon McLendon’s radio stations, argued that American support for the embargo of South Africa was extremely hazardous to the national security of the United States….”

“Brandy also participated in an association organized by David Atlee Phillips for ex-CIA officers
. Phillips had served as chief of the CIA’s Caribbean and Latin American division before his retirement in 1975. He became distressed at the exposes of CIA officers, mainly stemming from the activities of Senator Frank Church’s committee and the work of investigative reporters following the Watergate scandals. Phillips hoped to provide money that could serve as a legal defense fund for such officers, especially if they were libeled in the press and needed to file suit to restore their names. The organization could also conduct, as an outside group, public relations efforts to improve the image of the service as a whole. Brandy urged Phillips to expand his group to include not only former CIA officials, but also officers from other intelligence services, sucha as the army, navy, and air force.

 Accordingly, Phillips, with the approval of other CIA members, organized the Association of Former Intelligence Officers (AFIO). It was Brady’s responsibility to recruit the nucleus of former heads in the intelligence community, now retired, to represent the army, navy and air force. He did this by recruiting Vice Admiral Fritz Harlfinger, U.S. Navy, ret., and Lieutenant General John Davis, U.S. Army, ret., formerly of the ACSI, and deputy director of the National Security Agency (NSA). Brandy was offered a directorship, but he turned it down because of his comparatively low rank as a colonel. The organization needed leaders with significant Washington experience, with “Beltway” knowledge. He prevered to remain in the background…”

p. 335. Photo caption: “General Walter Dornberger, father of the German rocket program, visits his close friend Brandy at Casa Ternquilidad (Mexico) in 1977.…Later, when Dornberger passed away, his widow sent the general’s personal library, correspondence files, and mementos given him at West Point and elsewhere to Brandy. She knew that Brandy was an avid collector of such materials and would cherish and preserve them. He dutifully added them to his space collection.”

“….With Brandy’s supervision and recommendation to Deke DeLoach, Carlos Solana, his chief of security, had participated with a small group of Mexican security men in training at the FBI’s facility in Quantico, Virginia,….”

“…Al Kaplan,
who served as Brandy’s public relations man in the 1970s through his own company, moved on to be national director of tourism for the US-Mexico Chamber of Commerce…”

“After the divorce, Brandy married again. He had met Marianne Porzelt at one of the backgammon tournaments organized at his homeThey were married 26 December 1978; the best men were Gordon McLendon and the ex-President of Mexico, Miguel Aleman….”

[BK Notes: So Brandy ran backgammon tournaments organized at his home - a gambling activity, much in line with his partnership in the purchase of Meyer Lansky's San Souci casino in Havana before Castro came to power. ]

“Much of Brandstetter’s career as a G-2 officer and as a reservist with the staff of the army’s Assistant Chief of Staff-Intelligence (ACSI) was confidential, and for that reason, documentation on a number of his activities was inappropriate, or where permissible, difficult to obtain…”
Also See: Brandy: Portrait Of An Intelligence Officer by Chuck Render and Frank M. Brandstetter. (Elderbery Press, Aug. 2007)

Book Summary of Brandy: Portrait Of An Intelligence Officer (European Edition) By Chuck Render.

Chuck Render was born in Southern Illinois where he joined the Air Force Reserve on his 17th birthday in January of 1955. He resigned as a Technical Sergeant flight engineer in 1965 and was commissioned as a Second Lieutenant. He completed his baccalaureate and masters degrees at Murray State University in Kentucky and taught math, reading and music in Bluford, Illinois before completing his doctorate at the University of Illinois. He became Assistant Director of Administrative Studies at the University of Illinois Medical Center in Chicago, and then Director of Institutional Analysis with rank of Associate Professor at George Mason University in Fairfax, Virginia. In 1985, he was recalled to active duty in the Pentagon, serving in the Office of the Chief of Air Force Reserve and then with the Assistant Secretary of Defense for Reserve Affairs with duties in Operations and Plans. He retired from the military as a full "bird colonel" in 1995 after 40 years as an Air Force Reservist and moved to Clarksville, Tennessee.

Frank Maryan "Brandy" Brandstetter
 was born in 1912 in Bratislava and schooled by the Sisters of Charity and military officers throughout his childhood. In his mid-teens, he became a penniless immigrant on the streets of New York and began a life-long career, working his way up through the ranks in the hotel business. In January of 1941, he was sworn in as a U.S. Army Private, was promoted to Sergeant, but was plucked from the ranks, commissioned as a Second Lieutenant, and assigned to Army Intelligence. After jumping with the famed 506th "Band of Brothers" on D-Day, he served at General Matthew B. Ridgway's side throughout the war and afterward in the fledgling U.N. Organization. Brandy served his country for more than 50 years as an Army Reservist, on active duty and off, even at his own expense after his mandatory retirement age. As this book was being written, he was still residing in his fortress-like Casa Tranquilidad (House of Peace) on the mountainside in Acapulco, several hundred yards below the giant landmark cross and chapel he built.

George Lumpkin: p. 128. “As was common for Brandy, he received a fine commendation for his work from his commanding officer, at this time, Colonel George Lumpkin....”

[BK Notes: Dallas PD captain George Lumpkin and US Army Reserve Intelligence officer, either drove the pilot car in the motorcade or sat in the front seat. Texas Army Reserve Col. Whitmyer was in the middle of the rear seat. The car drove a mile ahead of the motorcade and was supposed to be on the lookout for any signs of trouble, but didn't see any. It stopped on the corner of Houston and Elm where Lumpkin told the police officer and the sixth floor assassin 60 feet above him that the motorcade was a few minutes away. After the assassination Lumplin returned to the scene where he met with TSBD superintendent Roy Truly. Even though Truly had seen Oswald on the second floor ninety seconds after the last shot, and gave him a pass, Truly now considered Oswald suspect because he was missing. Truly gave Lumpkin a list of employees - Oswald was at the top, with Mrs. Paine's address next to it. Lumpkin and Truly then went to the Sixth Floor where they observed Homicide Capt. Will Fritz examine the rifle that was just found. Lumpkin told Fritz about Oswald being missing and Fritz ordered some police officers to the Irving address that Truly gave him. Fritz then went across the street to visit Sheriff Bill Decker, though there is no record of what they discussed.]

Headquarters Department of the Army 26 July 1967 General Orders No. 33

Page 5 - Legion of Merit. By direction of the President...for exceptionally meritorious conduct in the performance of outstanding service is awarded to...Colonel George L. Lumpkin. Intelligence and Security, United States Army, July, 1960 – June, 1967 Files/senator sam ervin.htm

"According to Pyle, the U.S. Army Intelligence Command for the Continental United States ("CONUS intelligence") included more than one thousand undercover agents operating in a nationwide system with more than three hundred offices. Agents sent their reports through a national teletype network to Fort Holabird, Maryland, where the Army kept its central computer." 

Brandstetter talked about the "Central Index of Subversive Files,” and Pyle talks about the "Compendium" or the "Vault Files" that Robert Jones talked about in his HSCA testimony.

Active Army personal and the people in the Reserves are in a whole different realm. The Active Army is a full-time job; the Reserves are a part-time job with another life in the "civilian" world. 

As Steve Thomas wrote at John Simkin’s Education Forum, “Over the years, a number of groups, or at least rogue elements of those groups have been floated as suspects in the assassination of JFK. These have included the CIA, the mob, the right wing, etc. However, I believe that there was another group of people who seem to appear in key circumstances associated with this event; and these are colonels in the U.S. Army Reserves, and more specifically the intelligence services of that military mileau. I don't believe that this group of people have been examined in any organized way before. I can't point to anything specific, but I get the impression in my readings that the military intelligence people did not hold the CIA in any high regard. They saw the CIA as a bunch of cowboys.”

These Reservists include among others:

Jack A. Crichton, who organized the 488th Army Reserves Intelligence unit, half of whom were Dallas policemen, and controlled the Emergency Command and Communications bunker below the Dallas State Fairgrounds, and arranged for the first Russian language translators for Marina Oswald. 

Col. George L. Whitmeyer, the commander of the area's Army Reserve unit who was not pre-approved by the Secret Service as being part of the motorcade, but was invited to go along for the ride by Dallas Police Captain George Lumpkin. 

George Lumpkin - Drove or rode in the front seat of the Pilot Car - that rode a mile ahead of the motorcade to check for any possible danger or interference. 

Col. L. Robert Castorr - Allgedly met with Jack Ruby and others in Dallas over anti-Castro Cuban activities. 

Lester Logue. - Met with Gerry Patrick Hemming, as well as with the Cubans who visited Sylvia Odio with Oswald, who the Warren Commission Report wrongfully identified (as Seymore and Hall).

Colonel Frank M. (Maryan) "Brandy" Brandstetter

 At various times, Lt. Col. Whitmeyer has been identified as: “Lt. Col. George L. Whitmeyer, deputy East Texas sector commander, “Colonel Wiedemeyer - the East Texas Section Commander of the Army Reserve and “Lt. Colonel George Whitmeyer, U.S. Army, Dallas Sub-section Commander.”

These designations are not part of the Army's TOE or Table of Expenditures. The Texas Military Department is composed of the three branches of the military in the state of Texas - the Texas Army National Guard, the Texas Air National Guard, and the Texas State Guard. All three branches are administered by the state Adjutant General, an appointee of the Governor of Texas, and fall under the command of the Governor.

A possible source of reference might be here: the Texas State Library. Texas Adjutant General's Department: An Inventory of Texas State Guard/Texas Defense Guard/Texas State Guard Reserve Corps Records at the Texas State Archives, 1938-1983, undated (bulk 1941-1945)

On Jack Crichton: Lubbock Avalanche-Journal from Lubbock, Texas · December 5, 1967 Page 16 

DALLAS (API — Col. Jack A. Crichton. commanding officer of) the 488th Military Intelligence Detachment, was awarded the Legion of Merit Monday night on' his retirement from the Army- Reserve after 30 years of service. The medal was presented in a ceremony by Col. Robert D. Offer, commander of the VIII U.S. , Army Corps at Austin. An oil man and petroleum consultant, Crichton organized his Reserve unit in 1956 and has been its only commander. The award cited him for "exceptionally outstanding service" as commander and for the preparation of a series of military intelligence studies.

Ilya Mamantov identified Jack Crichton as a petroleum independent contractor, “and if I'm not mistaken he is connected with the Army Reserve, Intelligence Service.” Five minutes later, George Lumpkin called Mamantov. Thirty minutes before they called Mamantov however, he had called the FBI and offered his services because he knew Oswald and “knew of his background here in Dallas.”
Crichton Legion of Merit Award

page 87

In 1956 Crichton started up his own spy unit, the 488th Military Intelligence Detachment. Crichton served as the unit's commander under Lieutenant Colonel George Whitmeyer, who was in overall command of all Army Reserve units in East Texas. In an interview Crichton claimed that there were "about a hundred men in that unit and about forty or fifty of them were from the Dallas Police Department

From Bill Kelly. JFK Countercoup blog July 22, 2012

“On April 1, 1962, Dallas Civil Defense, with Crichton heading its intelligence component, opened an elaborate underground command post under the patio of the Dallas Health and Science Museum. Because it was intended for ‘continuity-of-government’ operations during an attack, it was fully equipped with communications equipment.

Dallas Morning News 03-17-1960 Dallas Center Approved by Civil Defense

“The Office of Civil Defense Mobilization announced Wednesday the approval of a $120,000 emergency underground operating center for the Dallas City-County Civil Defense and Disaster Commission. Under Plans formulated last year, OCDM and Dallas County will match contributions of $60,000 for the center. The building will be constructed at Fair Park adjacent to the Health and Science Museum.”

George Whitmeyer: (George Whitmeyer. Was passenger in the JFK motorcade pilot car.)

"Mr. Lawson acknowledged that Lt. Col. George Whitmeyer, who was part of the Dallas District U.S. Army Command, who Lawson said "taught Army Intelligence" - 1/31/78 HSCA interview of Secret Service agent Winston Lawson (RIF#18010074-10396)

Mary Ferrell database for Lt. Colonel George Whitmeyer:

1963-1964 City Directories list George Whitmeyer as Area Commander USA Reserve Training Center.

DPD Archives Box 14, Folder# 14, Item# 10 p. 20.

I believe that he taught at the Jules E. Muchert Army Reserve Center 10031 E. Northwest Highway, Dallas, TX. This Property was a part of the original boundaries of White Rock Lake Park. The City of Dallas sold the Property to the Federal Government in 1956 for an Army Reserve Training Center Site.

George Lumpkin: Was a passenger and possibly the driver of the motorcade pilot car of the motorcade, with George Whitmeyer, the duty of which was to observe and be alert for security reasons.

p. 128. “As was common for Brandy, he received a fine commendation for his work from his commanding officer, at this time, Colonel George Lumpkin....”

In his civilian life, George Lumpkin was deputy chief of police in the City of Dallas...”

When Jack Crichton was asked by the Dallas Police to find a Russian interpretor for Marina Oswald, Crichton asked George Lumpkin to call Ilya Mamantov. It was George Lumpkin who took command at the TSBD following the assassination and who Roy Truly first told that Lee Harvey Oswald was “missing”.

Frank Brandstetter

Published on from Sept.14 to Sept.15, 2011:

Colonel Frank Maryan "Brandy" Brandstetter (U.S. Army Ret.) died in the Hospital Megallanes in Acapulco, Mexico on August 21, 2011 at age 99.:

After graduating from the U.S. Army Intelligence School, he was trained by British military intelligence before he parachuted with the 506th Airborne Infantry Regiment on D-Day and led his IPW (Interrogation of Prisoners of War) team into World War II. He served as General Matthew B. Ridgway's trusted aide with the XVIII Airborne Corps until the end of the war, then, with General Ridgway in the Mediterranean Theater of Operations, and finally with the original, five-nation United Nations Organization. His awards include the Silver Star and the Bronze Star.

Brandy continued for 40 years in uniform as a U.S. Army Reservist frequently providing assistance to the Office of the Army Chief of Staff for Intelligence, the Defense Intelligence Agency, the FBI, and the CIA. 

Subsequently, Brandstetter unofficially provided reconnaissance services to the United States, primarily at his own expense, to China, Greece, Cyprus, Morocco, South Africa, Spain, Argentina, Yugoslavia, and many other hot spots at times when security threats were emerging.

Brandy, Our Man in Acapulco: The Life and Times of Colonel Frank M. Brandstetter. A Biography by Rodney P. Carlisle and Dominic J. Monetta. University of North Texas Press, 1999.

p. 118. “Brandy's move from San Francisco to Dallas resulted in his transfer from the Officers Reserve Control Group with the Sixth Army in San Francisco to one with the Fourth Army in San Antonio in the G-2 section.”

p. 120. “ December, 1951 he was assigned to reserve duty training in Dallas. In March, 1952 his file was submitted for a security background check. That work was finally completed on 30 June, 1953 and he was once again cleared for material up to and including Top Secret”. “Brandy soon began teaching and participating in a few courses in specialized intelligence studies.

p. 120. Brandy wrote to Colonel J.P. Kaylor of the Fourth Army's G-2 section and “...suggested monthly or semi-monthly briefings in a private area “where classified material could be read and secured,” meetings with Civilian Defense Authorities for liaison in case of emergencies, and correspondence courses.” (See the entry for Crichton)

pp. 127…. “after leaving Jamaica in early 1957, Brandy served as assistant troop commander and provost marshal of the Fourth U.S. Army Area Intelligence School for two weeks in August, 1957.
These intelligence school sessions reviewed procedures and studies in a wide variety of areas for reserve intelligence officers including a review of a Central Index of Investigative and Domestic Subversive files.

p. 128. “As was common for Brandy, he received a fine commendation for his work from his commanding officer, at this time, Colonel George Lumpkin...In his civilian life, George Lumpkin was deputy chief of police in the City of Dallas...”

p. 121. “While at the Presidio, Brandy had prepared a draft of a Domestic Emergency Plan, which he revised and submitted in 1954 as part of the Cloverleaf I exercise, to G-2 of the Fourth Army Command in Dallas, Colonel M.H. Truly.” (Any relation to Roy Truly of the TSBD?)

(Colonel M.H. Truly would submit a report on a UFO sighting in Texas and New Mexico in April, 1955 to the Assistant Chief of Staff, G2, Department of the Army.)

“ December, 1953 he (Brandstetter) and several other officers were attached to different units for the first three months of 1954 assigned as “Inspector/Advisors” "

Colonel L. Robert Castorr: Would be linked to a gun running scheme to Cuba with Nancy Perrin Rich and Jack Ruby.

The Mexia Daily News from Mexia, Texas · Page 1  November 7, 1957

(L. Robert Castorr) “Mr. Castorr. who is now a- colonel in the Active Reserve serving as inspector and advisor to the 90th Division in Texas...”

Registrations by Lobbyists An article from CQ Almanac 1970 Following is a list of persons and organizations that filed lobby registrations from Dec. 23, 1969 (the date of adjournment of the First Session of the 91st Congress) to Jan. 3, 1971 (the date of adjournment of the Second Session of the 91st Congress)

NATIONAL TAX ACTION INC., 1033 National Press Building, Washington, D.C. Filed 1/16/70.
Registered for itself.

Legislative interest—“Appropriations, taxation and economy in Government. In general, opposed to increased spending without more economy. Favor less international commitments, and less taxation.”

Expenses—“Anticipated, $100 each for two agents, totaling $200 monthly to cover expenses.”
Lobbyist—L. Robert Castorr, president, same address as employer. Filed 1/16/70.
Legislative interest—“Economy in Government.”

Frank Brandstetter: (A tantalizing side note):

Brandy, Our Man in Acapulco: The Life and Times of Colonel Frank M. Brandstetter. A Biography by Rodney P. Carlisle and Dominic J. Monetta. University of North Texas Press, 1999.

p. 117 In March, 1951, Brandy took over the management of the restaurant chain for Continental Trailways, a newly formed subsidiary of the Santa Fe Railroad. Trailways would become the nation's second largest bus company after Greyhound. Maurice Moore appointed Brandy as President of the restaurant subsidiary, Continental Restaurants. Continental was headquartered in Dallas, TX. Brandy planned the construction of new bus depots. Developed training and instruction manuals, and introduced pre-cooked frozen meals to smaller kitchens within a four hundred mile radius from a central kitchen in Dallas. He designed their logo, and raised sales from $215,000 in 1951 to $1,228,000 in 1953.

p. 125. “General Carl L. Phinney, an attorney for Continental Trailways and commander of the Texas National Guard knew that Brandy was looking for new ventures.” Clint Murchison was a “member of the Board of Directors of Continental Trailways.”

“On September 26, Oswald boarded Continental Trailways bus No. 5133 in Houston and departed at 2:35 AM for Laredo, TX...”



Page 3Met with Hemming in July, 1963. Also met with Hall and Seymour who left a trailer full of weapons at his house in October, 1963.

 Brandy: Portrait of an Intelligence Officer by Chuck Render, Ed. D. Col. USAF ret.

Astronaut James A. Lovell, Jr. Our Man in Acapulco – The Life and Times of Frank Maryan “Brandy” Brandstetter – By Rodney P. Carlsile (Rutgers history) and Dominic J. Monetta.